Risks of General Anesthesia 
Author Message
 Risks of General Anesthesia



: >My husband is facing elective surgery that requires general anesthesia.
: >He is deathly afraid of the general, but there is no local option for
: >this procedure.  Can anyone offer any comforting statistics/info about
: >the probability of problems occurring as a result of the general?  I
: >think that he has an irrational fear of going to sleep and never waking
: >up!  
: >
: >Thanks!
: >Emily

: An inhalational anesthetic is usually pretty safe because most of them
: are pretty insoluble in {*filter*}.  So, when the anesthetic is stopped, it
: usually leaves the body pretty quickly.  There are the rare instances
: of malignant hyperthermai that occur in 1% of the population.  Most of
                                 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
: the problems that occur are not usually due to the dangers of the
: anesthetic, but likely more so to the skill and experience of the
: anesthesiologist.  I would recommend that you interview this person
: before the surgery.
: ________________________________________________________________
: Mark J. Benvenga                                     "Another Day, Another Dollar"
: Lilly Research Labs
: (317) 276-8147

: ________________________________________________________________
:      ***All Opinions, Whether Expressed Or Not, Are Entirely My Own***
:                                                                        
: '--> necessary disclaimer

The incidence of malignant hyperthemia is much less than 1%. Although
estimates vary between studies, 1:25,000 is probably a reasonable figure.
The mortality from malignant hyperthermia has decreased significantly
over the years, due to both increased awareness amongst practitioners and
the availability of specific treatment (dantrolene).

The Anaesthetist should visit your husband pre-operatively, explain the
risks, and his/her reccomendations. Do not be afraid to ask questions.

Ian Cameron.
(Registrar, Anaesthesia)



Fri, 25 Jul 1997 16:27:10 GMT
 Risks of General Anesthesia

When my surgery was scheduled       last April, I called the hospital

and asked to talk to the anesthesiologist . I was told they are

not scheduled until the day before. The morning of surgery,

as I lay on a cart outside surgery, with others waiting for

surgery in line with me, the anesthesiologist finally came to

see me. I explained how sick I got after a previous surgery,

and that I didn't want the same medications. He said:

:"I;ll give you what I'm going to give you", and walked away.

Sure enough, I was {*filter*}ly sick all afternoon and evening.

How can I prevent that happening again?
--



Sat, 26 Jul 1997 07:24:34 GMT
 Risks of General Anesthesia

Quote:

>When my surgery was scheduled       last April, I called the hospital

>and asked to talk to the anesthesiologist . I was told they are

>not scheduled until the day before. The morning of surgery,

>as I lay on a cart outside surgery, with others waiting for

>surgery in line with me, the anesthesiologist finally came to

>see me. I explained how sick I got after a previous surgery,

>and that I didn't want the same medications. He said:

>:"I;ll give you what I'm going to give you", and walked away.

>Sure enough, I was {*filter*}ly sick all afternoon and evening.

>How can I prevent that happening again?
>--

Hope there's no next time, but if there is, refuse to let him work
on you.  After all, it's your money.
margaret

--



Sun, 27 Jul 1997 00:43:29 GMT
 Risks of General Anesthesia
I think you should explore in depth, whether the general anaesthesia is really
_required_, or merely is _customary_.

Tell the surgeon you want an epidural anesthesia; ask him if he objects.

The surgeon and anaesthesiologist should be very happy to have you on the
less-critical anaesthetic regime. It lessens their workload and liability.

Shop around for a surgeon who will give you what you want. We can still do that,
in the USA at least.  You are a paying customer. Don't be afraid to execercise
your perogatives.



Sat, 26 Jul 1997 06:57:59 GMT
 Risks of General Anesthesia
With regard to a patient who had significant nausea and vomiting after one
anesthetic:


Quote:

> I think you should explore in depth, whether the general anaesthesia is really
> _required_, or merely is _customary_.

> Tell the surgeon you want an epidural anesthesia; ask him if he objects.

Epidural anesthesia will not necessarily eliminate the likelihood of
nausea and vomiting, for a variety of reasons.  It may be a reasonable
option with various pros and cons.

Quote:
> The surgeon and anaesthesiologist should be very happy to have you on the
> less-critical anaesthetic regime. It lessens their workload and liability.

Our workload and liability is not really altered by using an epidural vs.
general anesthesia.  

The original poster complained that when she tried to arrange a meeting
the anesthesiologist, she was told that they are not assigned until the
night before.  This IS often true, especially now that there is so much
outpatient surgery being done.  HOWEVER, it should be possible to arrange
for an interview with one of the anesthesiologists from the group in
advance.  That anesthesiologist can discuss all the issues with you and
can make notations and suggestions to the individual who will be doing
your anesthesia (if he/she cannot arrange to do it him/herself).  If you
have plenty of time before your scheduled surgery, just politely insist to
the anesthesia department/office that that's what you want to do.

As for nausea and vomiting, there are a variety of {*filter*} and techniques
that MAY (the studies vary) be fairly effective at minimizing it after
general anesthesia.  The {*filter*} that seem to work best are slightly
expensive compared to nothing additional or compared to cheaper {*filter*} that
may/may not be superior.  However, for patients who have had a previous
episode of severe nausea and vomiting I personally am choosing to use
these {*filter*} because I think the cost is worth the benefit.  Whether these
{*filter*} are appropriate for you only your physicians can say.  However,
{*filter*} that may be useful include :  Propofol for induction of anesthesia
(as opposed to say sodium pentothal), and pretreatment with Ondansetron.
Again you MUST discuss these options with your physicians.

DG

--

Assoc. Prof. of Anesthesiology            415 858 3938
Stanford Univ. School of Medicine
***(This posting is my own opinion and does not reflect that of my employer.  It is for information only and does not constitute the practice of medicine ******



Sun, 27 Jul 1997 09:32:33 GMT
 Risks of General Anesthesia
The hospital says that talks with the anaes'ist aren't scheduled, so you
didn't talk to him.

HE's working for you. You payed every penny he's goping to get for that case.
He has a telephone. Call him and talk to him when you want - not when a clerk
in a hospital thinks you should.

He'll welcome it.

I'll bet you didn't denmand an itemized bill from the hospital, either.....



Sun, 27 Jul 1997 07:21:18 GMT
 
 [ 6 post ] 

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