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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:
TheChippendenSpook · 15/08/2022 17:58

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

Ah thank you so much!

It happened to me and was under my armpit. I felt ao unwell before the operation. I went to the pharmacy asking for numbing cream as I was in agony too! She sent me to the Dr's and I had it removed a couple of days later.

The after care was horrendous: daily packing and cleaning for two weeks but so far so good, it hasn't refilled.

Carpetfluffy · 15/08/2022 18:00

You'll be fasted and you may not go down for your section at the time they say because of emergency sections, so being something to do whilst you wait, and for the love of God tell DH to go and eat somewhere else if he's hungry. I've seen the look of death from some pregnant women when their DH is eating whilst they're fasting from the night before for their section.

You'll be put in a gown and your partner will be asked to wear scrubs and theatre clogs. I don't know if your hospital will let your partner be there whilst the epidural is going in. We don't allow that because of the amount of fainting. You'll be asked to sit on the edge of the bed and hunch forward for the anaesthetist can insert the epidural. Some women find it a really weird sensation not being able to feel their legs.

They will test if you can feel using a needle, if you can they'll top it up. Or put a different kind of block in.

They can give you medication to relax you if you're really nervous, and tell them if you feel sick because it can happen, and you'll get more fluids and anti sickness.

You'll lie down and then they'll start prepping your skin with alcohol scrub. They they might have to shave your pubes down further (don't worry this is totally normal because you can't see!) they will use an electric razor for this like dog clippers so they sound very loud.

You can ask the surgeon to put some music on because it's a planned section but it depends if the surgeon likes to work with music on tbh.

Your partner will probably be in by this point. They'll put a screen up around the level of your chest so you can't see, tell your partner to not look past that and try not to look in the lights of the theatres because they reflect.

You can ask your surgeon to tell you exactly what they're doing if that will help. You will feel a lot of pressure and like someone is doing the washing up inside you. It's hard to describe, you can feel a lot of movement but it won't be painful, then about 3 seconds after you start to realise you can feel someone doing stuff to you.. the baby is out!

The baby will be shown over the curtain crying and it's the best thing in the world, then they will be taken over to be wrapped up so they don't get cold, then brought to you to cuddle. You partner might have to hold them for you. You might be very shaky that's perfectly normal.

Sometimes they might need a bit of help to get going with their breathing because someone just took them out of their nice cosy home and they weren't expecting it. If this happens they will tell you what's going on, a midwife will be by your head explaining what's happening with the baby.

The baby will stay with you and your partner whilst they sew you up and tbh none of my parents are taking any notice of us by then because of their brand new baby! (Quite rightly). You'll be transferred into the recovery area and you'll be slid across into a bed. You'll have midwives who should help the baby to latch on and feed for the first time. You'll be made toast and tea and they will taste like the best thing you've ever eaten because you've been fasting for so long. You might feel sick so eat them slowly.

It will be difficult for you to move for the first few hours so call the midwives / hcas / your partner to help you pick up the baby as you won't be able to feel your tummy and it's not possible to sit up properly for a while.

I hope that's okay?

Imissmoominmama · 15/08/2022 18:08

I have surgery in a fortnight- I’ll look out for the ODP and say hello!

This is my second hip replacement. During the first, I was sure I heard a tea trolley come in, and heard the clink of someone stirring a cuppa. I imagined that… didn’t I?

I was awake, but sedated.

Carpetfluffy · 15/08/2022 18:11

@Imissmoominmama haha! You definitely imagined that! The anaesthetist will have had a brew but the ODP goes and makes it in the kitchen and I'll bring to them in a travel cup so it can't fall over and burn the patient or get on the floor etc.

Good luck for your surgery :)

Carpetfluffy · 15/08/2022 18:17

@SharpLily we don't get training on EDS in uni but I am going on a training morning that discusses the use of spinal block cancer local anaesthetic in patients with EDS because we've had a lot of complaints that local doesn't work in these patients and we can't change policy without sending everyone on courses. Our lead anaesthetist is very interested in this so we're slowly changing practices. If a patient says they have EDS he'll put in a spinal block instead of local

2) it's really weird that we don't actually know how anaesthetic actually works on the brain. We know it does work obviously but the ins and outs are still a bit of a mystery. We know we put the brain into a state of deep unconsciousness and it can be that once the drugs are reversed to wake you up your brain is just raring to go. Do you have EDS? I might ask my colleague about that.

Carpetfluffy · 15/08/2022 18:17

@MargotChateau forgot to say you'll have a catheter as well but you won't feel it going in because you'll be numb

SharpLily · 15/08/2022 18:41

@Carpetfluffy I do have hEDS. I'm resistant to certain anaesthesia and also to paracetamol. I had surgery about six months ago where the anaesthetist also commented that my 'floppiness' would also extend to my windpipe and it's something important for her to be aware of. That's not something I've heard before (although it makes sense) despite haveing to advocate for my condition over many years.

StealingYourWiFi · 15/08/2022 20:47

I’m an ODP too! But scrub mostly 95% of the time and anaesthetics occasionally. I’m also a registered surgical first assistant and will do my enhanced skills soon.

StealingYourWiFi · 15/08/2022 20:52

Those who keep wandering where the ODP OP went have no idea of how much time we are focusing on our patients. I was at work 12 hours today and barely looked at my phone 🤣

Carpetfluffy · 15/08/2022 22:04

@StealingYourWiFi totally agree! It's such a busy job

MargotChateau · 16/08/2022 08:26

@Carpetfluffy thank you so much for walking me through what I’ll experience. Although it sounds extremely full on, it will really help my anxiety by having an idea of what to expect.
Especially the little details like you can choose music but it depends on the surgeon on the day, while I’d be disappointed, I’d rather know they might so no in advance so I don’t get thrown that my ‘plan’ didn’t go as I thought.

Couple of follow up questions. If things go wrong do they put you under a general? Can you ask for anti anxiety meds before they take you into the room even? I’m very anxious and scared I’ll want to back out on the day/have a panic attack. Do babies offer get cut, or my organs get cut?
Can I request no student doctors to perform any of the procedure (based on a past family history of a death to a parent due to a doctors surgery mistake)

I had my DH read your post and he went green. It’s really helped him understand what a massive procedure I’ll be going through and why I want a couple of weeks ago of recovery before we allow visitors.

Thanks so much, it’s the first bit of advice I’ve had that has helped me understand the procedure.

sleighbellsjiggling · 16/08/2022 09:45

This is so interesting, thank you!

I've only had GA once for a D&C. I was very tearful when I came round which I was told was totally normal. The thing that bothered me most was an awful pain in my right shoulder for a few days, I had no idea where it had come from! I always thought it was from being moved before I woke up, is this likely to be why?

Carpetfluffy · 16/08/2022 10:28

@sleighbellsjiggling that could have been if they've inserted gas to see better if they've used a camera. Or if the nerve around your womb is agitated as they're doing the procedure, it's called referred pain. It usually dissipates after a few days as the gas is absorbed.

That pain is what they say to look out for in ectopic pregnancy

I hope you're okay.

ParasiticMicrowasp · 16/08/2022 18:29

The person I remember most from my C section was the ODP, and I remember him because he was SO nice and friendly and really put me at ease. Thank you for what you do!

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