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I’m an ODP in Operating Theatres - AMA!

89 replies

ODPintheNHS · 01/08/2022 22:00

Ive seen a couple of people before wonder what happens when they are under a general anaesthetic.

I’m an ODP in a DGH, so I’ll answer anything that’s not cardiothoracic or neurology (just because I’ve not seen it!)

OP posts:
CocoLady · 09/08/2022 00:24

My mum does the same job but In spire previously in nhs said it's a thankless job but nhs aren't just about the money !

Namenty · 09/08/2022 00:27

Be honest what’s the worst specialty?

Worked in hospital many years ago and vascular and neuro were horrors!

MrsFezziwig · 09/08/2022 00:36

Namenty · 09/08/2022 00:27

Be honest what’s the worst specialty?

Worked in hospital many years ago and vascular and neuro were horrors!

What do you mean by “worst”?

Namenty · 09/08/2022 00:39

Behaviour wise!

Breast were always lovely, so were T&O. Vascular were terrifying!

hellosunshineagainx · 09/08/2022 00:56

Not a question but just wanted to see how at ease the odp I had for my emergency C-section made me feel. They made me feel like I was truly cared for, like a human. Meant a lot. So thank you to you guys ⭐️

RaininginDarling · 09/08/2022 09:33

Thank you so much @Carpetfluffy - that's so interesting and I really appreciate you taking the time to explain it. It utterly blows my tiny mind what you all do in there! And sometimes via a console! My surgeon was hilarious. She was very pleased with how neat the incision was in the end (pelvic bone up to belly button) and, I'm pretty sure, she said they used string to get it out from that incision. Mad. Anyway, I'm much better now, thank you. And Hodor (so named as it was blocking my back passage) was benign. Stupidly big but thankfully nothing more. Thank you, thank you to you and theatre staff for seeing the scared person as well as the job in hand! I often think of that woman and how she made me feel safe at possibly the scariest moment in my 50 odd years.

RaininginDarling · 09/08/2022 09:49

Anybody else humming to themselves "cos I'm an ODP, yeah you know me" ? Just me, isn't it?

TaggyODP · 09/08/2022 12:38

I like to think we do a little more than that?

Cyanchicken · 13/08/2022 20:39

Do not all hospitals have ODPs - we've had this happen in Ireland recently - can't understand how it could happen!

Sux2buthen · 13/08/2022 22:33

That chest crushing feeling happened in my c section too it was bloody horrible

Carpetfluffy · 14/08/2022 01:10

@RaininginDarling you're more than welcome. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

Carpetfluffy · 14/08/2022 01:11

I'm an ODP so if anyone has any more questions feel free to ask as op as clearly left the chat!

I'm happy to answer any questions

Carpetfluffy · 14/08/2022 01:17

@Sux2buthen in my experience that feeling is because you've either had low bp or a high c section block in your spine and it's aggravated nerves, if you have another one tell them you experienced that and they'll go lower in the spine and see if that makes a difference, you could also ask for pain relief during the c section. Don't be afraid to say 'oh i feel that and I don't like it' or if you feel sick tell them immediately and they will give you a bowl (way more dignified) and lots of anti emetics and fluids.

MargotChateau · 14/08/2022 06:50

@Carpetfluffy thank you!! ✨

I’m having a c section in December (all going well 🤞). What should I expect from the procedure. I actually met with the anaesthetist today and requested a walk through of the procedure but they were too busy.

Im very nervous of the anaesthesia wearing off, or having a panic attack, can they give the patient some kind of sedative/anti anxiety medication?

JustDanceAddict · 14/08/2022 10:23

I’ve had a couple of generals as an adult. The first one, after they put the anaesthetic in my arm felt really odd and heavy and I felt faint just before I went under.
second one I braced myself for the weird feeling and it didn’t happen (they were about 4 years apart) - just went under ‘normally’.
What was the arm thing? Also when I woke up I had a an oxygen mask on, I asked what the time was and they asked me what time I thought it was - I was approx right, and what was the ward I was on - like I’d had a ‘turn’.

Penguintears · 14/08/2022 17:15

It's a pity the OP didn't come back to this thread!

mackthepony · 15/08/2022 02:31

Do you assist with c sections?

I had an emergency appendix removal during my ELCS - have you ever seen that? The team seemed a bit surprised by it (I was too)

Carpetfluffy · 15/08/2022 02:38

@mackthepony that's pretty uncommon tbh! I've assisted with a gall bladder removal after an emergency c section. I have also assisted a brain surgery that ended in a (planned) c section. Patient was going blind (tumour) and was close to delivery so my colleague scrubbed for the brain surgery and I scrubbed for the section. I felt sorry for the dad because he wasn't able to be there but it worked and she was able to see again after the operation so that was very special.

Carpetfluffy · 15/08/2022 02:39

@MargotChateau I've just finished work I'll write a long response in the morning :)

NanaNelly · 15/08/2022 03:17

RaininginDarling · 08/08/2022 23:56

Thanks for the thread OP! I'd like to know more about open abdominal surgery too. This time last year, I had emergency surgery to remove a massive growth on an ovary. The surgeon told me they might need to open me up completely (they didnt) but had to get under my stomach to remove it. It was crushing my bowel and other vitals.(I came out a stone and a half lighter! It took a very long time to recover including acid reflux for 6 mths after. What happens in an operation like that? Is it common? Also: would the lovely, kind woman who held my hand as I went under doing the same role as you, do you think? I was so scared but so, so grateful for her kindness.

I had my 6kg ovarian cyst along with all of my other reproductive organs, my omentum and my appendix removed during what is called a ‘staging laparotomy’. It was a planned surgery but because Mucinous cysts very often don’t raise a persons CA125 no one knew really knew if my cyst was malignant or not. It was though and I had a diagnosis of stage 1a Mucinous ovarian cancer. The surgery was huge and you are basically left looking as if you’ve been filleted like a fish with a very long scar from above your belly button down to your pubic bone area.

Recovery wise I was in hospital for 5 days and by day 9 I went out for a family breakfast. I was tired after the surgery but by the 6 - 8 week mark I felt back to normal and going about my normal life. However the shock of everything that happened left me in a very poor state mentally and I had a breakdown more or less the day the cyst was discovered and I needed psychiatric care. It was the straw that broke this camels back after A good few years of major traumatic life events one after the other.

Quite honestly the surgery was ok despite being described by my daughters anaethetist friend as a ‘bloody huge surgery’. I’m so grateful to my gynae-oncologist surgeon for removing the cyst without it bursting as it then would have meant chemotherapy and a different staging and I still spend time thinking about how they managed to wrestle something that size into a bag.

Twenty one months later I’m back to my old self but will stay on a 10mg dose of anti depressants/anti anxiety meds for quite some time as living with the possibility the cancer can return and the limited treatment options I have is a bit scary.

Sorry, during the surgery I also had an epidural in place for pain relief afterwards but all it did was take the feeling away from my big toe. I can recall nearly shooting out of my bed when the pain relief team came round and ran ice down my body to see if it was still doing it’s job and then getting to my big toe ……….😂

MargotChateau · 15/08/2022 08:34

@Carpetfluffy thank you x

TheChippendenSpook · 15/08/2022 10:20


I have a bit of a gross question to ask. If you have an abcess/boil thing and it has to be surgically removed because it was too impacted and wouldn't drain, when the surgeon does the incision does it then drain or come out in a solid mass? I can't find the answer anywhere and I'm intrigued.

Thank you Smile

mackthepony · 15/08/2022 17:32

Thanks carpet 😃

Great thread

Carpetfluffy · 15/08/2022 17:39

@TheChippendenSpook it goes into the suction canister.

The surgeon will open up the abscess, the surgeons I work with will put the scalpel in the middle of it open it up, pour litres of water in and over the wound the wash it out and then suction all the pus out. It kind of dissolves from being chunky to being liquid with the water. Sorry for anyone eating!

They will also try and cut out the cyst pocket so it can't refill if it's needed surgery because they have a tend to refill!

You'll be given a bolus dose of antibiotics during the surgery to cover any spread of infection. They stink when they rupture but I always think the patient must have felt like shit so better out than in.

Ruptured appendix has got to be the worst smell even though. There's something about it, it lingers

SharpLily · 15/08/2022 17:48

I'd like to ask two questions, sorry if that's greedy!

  1. How much do you know about / are trained on EDS and the effect of anaesthetics on EDS patients?
  2. I always wake up from a GA feeling very energetic. I wake very quickly and am fully alert within seconds and find the recovery process very irksome as I feel a desperate urge to be up and about. It usually fades a few hours later but I'm sure the recovery room staff find me very annoying - everyone else in there seems very groggy whereas I can't keep still and feel ready to compete in a triathlon! Any idea what that's about?
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