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Anesthesia or Spinal - What would you choose?

Cherryfizz
2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

I have to have a gynecological procedure tomorrow in the hospital, It was supposed to happen last week but was cancelled due to concerns of the Anesthesiologist and not having certain test results. He called me twice asking me all kinds of questions about my health and cancelled the surgery because without knowing the results of certain tests he didn't think it was safe for me to be "put out" The surgery was for last Monday and he called Friday night so there was no way to get the results then. He called me 2 days ago and said everything looks good and rescheduled the surgery for tomorrow.

I have only had anesthesia twice, ether when I was a child getting my tonsils out and another time having some impacted teeth removed in the hospital. He said he would talk to me about either having anesthesia or a spinal freeze. He was concerned though where the fracture was in my back so is leaning towards anesthesia. If it was you, what would you rather have? I don't want to know anything so I am thinking anesthesia. The procedure only takes 27 minutes then an hour in recovery, then if all is well I go home. Thanks for your input

Comments (37)

  • Debby
    2 months ago

    Depends on the procedure. I've had both but prefer being put right out. But I have to warn them, that I will throw up within an hour of waking up. The nausea is awful. Mind you, last time I was put out (varicose vein removal) I didn't throw up until I got home. The drive home was terrifying, we had nothing in the car in case I got sick and I had a heck of a time not getting sick. With the spinal freezing, I don't get sick but was just not comfortable with what they were doing: tying my cervix shut as I deliver babies really premature.

    Cherryfizz thanked Debby
  • cooper8828
    2 months ago

    I would rather be out cold. I really don't want to hear what's going on and just wake up and it's all done.

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  • Cherryfizz
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    hmm, I was thinking about getting sick on the way home if I had the anesthesia. I have been experiencing vertigo for the last few weeks and this might make it worse. I believe I am having an ablation and a biopsy


  • eld6161
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I am concerned about the anesthesiologist‘s questions and cancellations. I have never heard of this.

    For your personal health reasons, I would do a local.

    I have never had issues with anesthesia, but I am not you. We seem cavalier about it because we have not had issues. But it is in itself a procedure with risks involved.

    Cherryfizz thanked eld6161
  • maifleur03
    2 months ago

    Some of the medical people on here will know but have you asked how long a spinal freeze for the area the surgery will be in will last? From casual conversations with one of my old doctors after it was discovered my T1 and T2 had problems the blockage and temporary paralysis lasts longer than regular anesthesia. This really is one of those talk to your doctor things.

    Cherryfizz thanked maifleur03
  • maddielee
    2 months ago

    Does the Anesthesiologist know about your vertigo? You need to advise him if he doesn’t.

    good luck with your surgery, I would choose the type of sedation the doctor recommends. ( ask him what he’d want one of his loved ones to choose.)

    Cherryfizz thanked maddielee
  • Chi
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    If my anaesthesiologist was worried, I would do a spinal. Less pleasant but less risks than full anaesthesia.

    I'd go with whatever he thinks is your best and safest option.

    Personally I don't like anaesthesia and will put up with discomfort to avoid it, if it's an option. I did a colonoscopy without any sedation and don't regret it.

    Cherryfizz thanked Chi
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I had a block instead of anesthesia when I had my leg surgery, and it was awful. I thought it would be like a novocaine with dentistry where it wears off after a few hours. It lasted over 36 hours, and instead of being just numb and immobile, it had a terrible tingling sensation the whole time, like your leg feels when it's waking up after having fallen asleep...I could hardly sleep it was so awful. On top of it, I was half awake/half asleep and when he hit the painful parts, I could still feel it. I was so sorry I made that choice.

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  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Is it too late to ask your doctor to assign a different anesthesiologist? Most hospitals have a corps of them. Maybe it's your description but this one isn't confidence inspiring. There's no good reason for you to have anxiety about this aspect of what's ahead for you, the doctor should be advising and easing your concern, but I understand why you do.

    Can you postpone it and then make other arrangements? With a good one, I'd say follow their recommendation. With this one, I'd say follow the nurse out the door.

    Good luck.

    Cherryfizz thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • marilyn_c
    2 months ago

    I've had both....spinal for a c section, which was good to be awake. General for repairing a broken wrist and knee replacement. I wouldn't care to hear what was going on with those latter two.

    Cherryfizz thanked marilyn_c
  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    2 months ago

    I like that this anesthesiologist was being careful and thorough - it isn't an indication of less confidence or competence.

    Both methods have unique risks, and unique possible aftereffects (such as nausea from general, headache from spinal). For such a short procedure I think that I would be inclined to go with general b/c he would use short acting drugs and probably not as deep as for a longer or more invasive surgery (I am guessing); and if there is altered bone structure in the area where he would need to place the spinal needle that does make a spinal more difficult - but you should really discuss it further with the anesthesiologist -

    Cherryfizz thanked raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
  • whatsayyou18
    2 months ago

    FWIW, I recently had general anesthesia for a D&C and removal of a mass. It was fabulous! I was home by noon, expected to feel fatigue that afternoon but instead felt perfectly normal and hiked nine miles the following day. Never missed a beat. Good luck with your decision and procedure!

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  • Olychick
    2 months ago

    I would have great confidence in an anesthesiologist who was being so careful before they proceeded and would take their advice about risks and benefits of each.

    Cherryfizz thanked Olychick
  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 months ago

    Was the anesthesiologist being careful or indecisive?

  • Chi
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I think it's a good sign that the anesthesiologist is being thorough and wouldn't do the surgery without certain tests coming back. Anesthesia is still risky, especially if you have any other health issues like obesity or diabetes or high blood pressure. I think it would be reckless to approve the surgery without the test results.

    I had to have emergency surgery and my anesthesiologist said I was at much higher risk because my BMI is higher than ideal and I have a small airway. They had to put me under general anesthesia with intubation instead of the safer sedation they use on normal weight people. It scared me but it's good knowledge to have and helps give me motivation to get healthier.

    I had to have another planned surgery afterwards for my IVF and I told that anesthesiologist what the other one had said and we spent a lot of time working out a plan to keep me safe.

    Cherryfizz thanked Chi
  • Cherryfizz
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thanks for your advice. Elmer I have confidence in this anesthesiologist, might have been the way I described the situation. I thought he was very thorough especially cancelling the surgery because he didn't have some test results. When I had the CT scan in the hospital when they were looking for blot clots or blockages they found I had a mass on each of my adrenal glands. I guess for where I live they don't see this very often. While in the hospital I had to have a special urine test where they gave me a steroid and collected my urine for 24 hours, I also had other blood tests to see if my adrenal glands were functional or not. I also had an echocardiogram a few weeks ago and wore a heart monitor for a few days.


    The anesthesiologist wanted these results before any surgery was done. They were not in the hospital database. One of the symptoms of these masses could be a spike in blood pressure which I did experience while in the hospital. He finally was able to contact my Internist who is still setting up her practice and was able to get the test results he needed and rescheduled the surgery.


    I just had a doctor's visit over the telephone with the Internist and she gave me the result of all my tests. My echocardiogram showed no signs of concern, my blood pressure has been good, blood tests show my adrenal glands are functioning which is good and I have to have a CT scan in a few weeks to check on them. I guess it is very rare the masses are cancerous but she wants to make sure. My echocardiogram also showed I don't have a-fib but because my heart beat was irregular while in the hospital they will put me back on blood thinners once I have had this surgery. I had read about adrenal masses online and the only symptom I had was the spike in blood pressure. Both the Internist and Anesthesiologist asked me about having the other symptoms which I had never experienced and then the test confirmed the glands were still functional.


    This might be TMI and you might want to scroll on by. I am 64 years old and every 6 months or so I still have a monthly cycle. When I was in the hospital the first time the CT scan also showed I had a thickened uterus. I guess at my age the uterine wall thins out so they were concerned about this and referred me to a gynecologist. I knew my 6 month period was due, haha I was bitchy and craved salt and chocolate. I did mention while in the hospital I had a twinge in my ovary. 2 days after I came home I started my period. Because of the blood thinners it was horrendous. I lost so much blood. I saw the gynecologist and he put me on a progesterone medication to help stop the bleeding but it didn't work. He also explained to me the pain I was feeling in my uterus was my body going into labour every time I had to pass a clot. I also was short of breath. On April 18 I lost so much blood I felt i was going to pass out so an ambulance was called. That was the last day I took the blood thinner. In the hospital they found my hemoglobin was very low so they gave me 2 units of blood. I had never had a blood transfusion before. I also had internal and a pelvic ultrasound and it was then decided I needed to have this ablation done and a biopsy to make sure I don't have cancer. The Dr said he didn't see anything unusual in the ultrasound. I have been bleeding since March 25. I am very anemic, I am short of breath when I exert myself and they said that is because of the blood loss. I have been really good following a low sodium diet so the edema is gone but I still have to take a water pill everyday. I felt good after talking to the Internist today and really confident with the anesthesiologist - sorry I never looked up the correct spelling so don't know if this is the way it is spelled. I don't have any anxiety but maybe tomorrow when I actually get to the hospital I will. I really appreciate all your advice. I have never had to deal with all this medical stuff before.

  • moosemac
    2 months ago

    I've had both types of anesthesia in the past. I would go with the general. I have had two spinals in the past. I hated the sensation and had minor breathing difficulties with both. I also got a "spinal" headache from one and it was not fun.

    For me the downside with general is I normally get severe nausea after the fact. However 3 weeks ago I had surgery with general anesthesia and did not have any nausea. Yay! It was a piece of cake.

    Cherryfizz thanked moosemac
  • maifleur03
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Good luck on your procedure. I had it when I was in my mid 60s. Something that I was not told until afterward by the gynecological surgeon you should expect to have periodic pelvic ultrasounds. It is to prevent problems and find any reoccurrence early.

    Cherryfizz thanked maifleur03
  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 months ago

    Best wishes and hopefully you'll soon be on the road to recovery.

    Cherryfizz thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • Lucille
    2 months ago

    Cherryfizz I will be thinking of you and hoping all goes well.

    Cherryfizz thanked Lucille
  • kathyg_in_mi
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Knock me out and have a bucket or a couple of zip lock bags in the car!

    Wishing you well tomorrow and that it helps you.

    Cherryfizz thanked kathyg_in_mi
  • morz8
    2 months ago

    Cherry, if you warn the anesthesiologist you may have an issue with nausea, he could possibly add something to your meds to avoid that. I carefully explained that when taking my Mom in for an outpatient procedure and he put a seasickness patch (scopolamine) behind her ear. It worked, not queasy. This was more than 10 years ago, they may have something less strong that would work well for you. I remember her having dry mouth and dilated pupils at home that night. I had to argue with her to get the patch off (side effects)....she was afraid she might still become sick. ;0)


    Cherryfizz thanked morz8
  • Judy Good
    2 months ago

    Yep anesthesia all the way, no spinal for me. I have had both also.


    Cherryfizz thanked Judy Good
  • Ont_Gal
    2 months ago

    Anesthesia for me too...I would never have a spinal.

    Cherry-you wont be out long with this procedure.....they'll no more get you out and they'll be waking you up. Best of luck to you

    Cherryfizz thanked Ont_Gal
  • Cherryfizz
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Procedure done and over thank goodness. I ended up having general anesthesia. They would have preferred to give me the spinal but because of where the fracture is in my back they were unable to do so after trying. It was a long day. I wasn't nervous at all, actually had some fun and laughs in the Operating Room before I was knocked out. Beach Boys and other 70s music blaring from the speakers. Nurses were awesome as well as my Doctor. While I was still in the OR I must have thrown up because I remember trying to push away whatever they were doing to my mouth. I found out later they were suctioning the vomit so I wouldn't aspirate. It was interesting to experience the different stages of wakefulness as the anesthesia wore off. I did have some issues during the surgery. I went into a-fib and my blood pressure skyrocketed although earlier when they took it my BP was on the low side. My hemoglobin was up by a good margin from a few weeks ago so that meant no blood transfusion. My echocardiogram results from a few weeks ago showed no concerns with my heart and no a-fib while I wore the monitor. internist is sending me back to the Heart Centre again to find out what is going on. They give you good news one day and then take it back the next haha. Again, thanks for the advice, prayers and well wishes.

  • OutsidePlaying
    2 months ago

    My vote is for anesthesia every time. Unless there is an overriding need for a block, anesthesia is the way to go.

    As for nausea afterward, you should always communicate that to your anesthetist or anesthesiologist when they come in to talk with you prior to surgery. For one, almost anything given now doesn’t cause nausea anymore (or so I was told), and of primary importance, they can give you something to keep you from having nausea. It works. I had severe nausea many years ago after a minor procedure. Couldn’t even move my head without feeling it, and I am never sick to my stomach without real cause. Haven’t had a problem since.

    Cherryfizz thanked OutsidePlaying
  • Cherryfizz
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    I never felt the nausea at the time and haven't since. I was still on the operating table when it happened. I just felt the suctioning in my mouth and I didn't know what was going on. I felt good when I was wakening up except for some dizziness. I actually feel worse today with dizziness and falling asleep as I sit here.

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    2 months ago

    Cherryfizz, make sure that you are drinking a bit extra of water. Dehydration can sneak up after a general anesthetic.

    Cherryfizz thanked raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
  • 1929Spanish-GW
    2 months ago

    Glad the procedure is over. I had one at 49 under twilight sedation and had the very best results. As for sedation, I’m going to admit to loving the relaxed sleepy sensation of coming out of anesthesia. I enjoy it as long as possible.

    Cherryfizz thanked 1929Spanish-GW
  • blfenton
    2 months ago

    I'm glad the anesthetic was okay and that you're feeling alright. Hopefully the follow up will not show anything untoward.

    Cherryfizz thanked blfenton
  • yeonassky
    2 months ago

    So glad the procedure is over and hope you get answers quickly.

    It does take a while for the general anesthetic to clear your system. Hopefully you have only have this one day of discomfort and sleep helps. It sounds like it worked for the most part.

    Continuing to keep you in my thoughts.

    Cherryfizz thanked yeonassky
  • 1929Spanish-GW
    2 months ago

    ^😂😂😂

  • satine100
    2 months ago

    Cherry you had been on my mind. So glad to hear the procedure went well and I hope they can discover once and for all what the problem is. I also have palpations etc and after many tests and monitors etc they still dont know what is causing it. I feel your pain.

    Cherryfizz thanked satine100
  • joyfulguy
    2 months ago

    Glad to hear that it went well, cherry - and hoping for good news coming.

    I've been sending good thoughts and hopes for your relaxation of spirit a number of times since your message.

    ole joyful

    Cherryfizz thanked joyfulguy
  • Cherryfizz
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Jupidupi, haha there is no way I could have walked 15 blocks let alone down the hall without banging off the walls haha. No high feeling for me, I am glad you felt alright. Raee, thank you for the reminder about drinking my water, I really needed it but didn't event think about drinking, my throat was too sore. Jupidupi, I was kind of worried if I was put under Twilight sleep that I might say something stupid. As I was leaving my house to go to the hospital my brother said something stupid, "tell the doctor to kiss your booboo" hahaha and because that was in my mind I was afraid I would say it out loud. I am just praying I didn't say anything haha.


  • 1929Spanish-GW
    2 months ago

    Cherry -many years ago when I was having my wisdom teeth removed, they asked me what I was doing for New Years and all I remember saying is that my parents were gone and my boyfriend was coming over! Luckily I was over 18!

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