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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:12 AM   #1
iGary
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What is general anesthesia like?

So I am having my first surgical procedures in *looks at widget* 16 days, and the thing that scares me the most is the general anesthesia...

I've looked at sites about it, but they don't walk through the whole procedures and what you feel like after etc...

Is it all IV? Gas?

What do you feel like when you come to?

*scared*
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:13 AM   #2
gwuMACaddict
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had gas once... very very weird... felt like floating off of the table, until i was out cold... coming to after the procedure was weird, very dreamy- brother had to fireman carry me to the car... slept the rest of the day
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:15 AM   #3
iGary
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had gas once... very very weird... felt like floating off of the table, until i was out cold... coming to after the procedure was weird, very dreamy- brother had to fireman carry me to the car... slept the rest of the day
So you re telling me I most likely won't even be able to have a cab take me home - my partner has to work, can't get out of it.

I'm afraid I'm going to be puking all over the place.

I'm weird. They are going to cut a 6-inch hole in my back and remove one of my lamina and a disc, and I'm worried about anesthesia.

Derrrr...
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGary
So you re telling me I most likely won't even be able to have a cab take me home - my partner has to work, can't get out of it.

I'm afraid I'm going to be puking all over the place.

I'm weird. They are going to cut a 6-inch hole in my back and remove one of my lamina and a disc, and I'm worried about anesthesia.

Derrrr...
If you don't have someone to drive you home and look after you for the night, it is recommended to stay in hospital overnight.

iGary i wish that al goes to plans and your certainly in my pray's
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGary
So I am having my first surgical procedures in *looks at widget* 16 days, and the thing that scares me the most is the general anesthesia...

I've looked at sites about it, but they don't walk through the whole procedures and what you feel like after etc...

Is it all IV? Gas?

What do you feel like when you come to?

*scared*
Some is IV. Some is gas. I've only had IV. Basically they inject you. You feel sleepy. You fall asleep. You wake up kinda groggy and end up sleeping it off for most of the day.

I've only had one bad experience w/ general anesthesia, but it was an unusual situation so I don't give it much weight.

You really have nothing to worry about.

Unless you don't wake up.


Lethal
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by DeSnousa
If you don't have someone to drive you home and look after you for the night, it is recommended to stay in hospital overnight.

iGary i wish that al goes to plans and your certainly in my pray's
I don't mind that at all - I'm actually hoping to stay just one night in case...

Funny thing is I could walk to the hospital (and the Apple Store ) in 10 minutes...

I just don't want to wake up puking all over the place.
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGary
ÖIs it all IV? Gas?

What do you feel like when you come to?...
I had a few GAís and I think Iíve had both gas and IVís.
Whichever you have itís normal for the doctor (Iíll not try to attempt and spell anestithologist <thatís why) to ask you to count down from ten, you wonít make seven before youíre under.
While youíre under you donít dream, or at least I never have.
Coming round is the weird part as itís not like waking up from sleep, itís like when you are so tired you canít keep your eyes open. You know when youíre sat in front of TV at night and the shopping channel comes on and youíre powerless to even lift the remote but can see the horror in front of you.
Youíll come round from the drugs like this and then drift back off to Ďnormalí sleep ie sleep your bodyís decided you need as opposed to drug induced.
Waking from that sleep is fairly normal except youíll have to deal with the pain of whatever operation you just had.
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:25 AM   #8
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I had a few GAís and I think Iíve had both gas and IVís.
Whichever you have itís normal for the doctor (Iíll not try to attempt and spell anestithologist <thatís why) to ask you to count down from ten, you wonít make seven before youíre under.
While youíre under you donít dream, or at least I never have.
Coming round is the weird part as itís not like waking up from sleep, itís like when you are so tired you canít keep your eyes open. You know when youíre sat in front of TV at night and the shopping channel comes on and youíre powerless to even lift the remote but can see the horror in front of you.
Youíll come round from the drugs like this and then drift back off to Ďnormalí sleep ie sleep your bodyís decided you need as opposed to drug induced.
Waking from that sleep is fairly normal except youíll have to deal with the pain of whatever operation you just had.
OK, so it's like when I have insomnia and take 2mgs of Xanax and feel like I weigh 500 pounds the next morning and can't get up.
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:26 AM   #9
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When my mum came home the night of her procedure, she felt really tired. You just need to sleep it off, which she did for a good 14 hours

But yeah, it was like she had no control of her body and her senses were un-reactive. Just really drowsy.
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:27 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by LethalWolfe
...I've only had one bad experience w/ general anesthesia, but it was an unusual situation so I don't give it much weight...
Same here, the only time I had a problem was when they had to keep me under longer than expected because the idiot stand-in denist took the wrong two teeth out realised and went back for the right two!
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:31 AM   #11
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Hey Gary... don't worry.

Had it myself for the first time just over 6 weeks ago for major surgery.
It's not like sleep at all: no dreaming, no tossing & turning etc.

In my case, the anaesthetist was in a small room off from the main theater. I was wheeled in on my bed. Some lines were inserted into my left hand and forearm, he disappeared behind me to check something... we chatted for a few seconds and then... I woke up in a large sunny room.

It will seem like a handful of seconds will have passed since the anaesthetist induced full anaesthesia and waking up in the recovery room. Depending on the surgery they will have already put you on post-op pain relief and you may just feel fine and dandy like I did. Upon awakening, they will probably ask you a few simple questions to ascertain your mental state.

Afterwards, you may be thirsty -- don't gulp water, though. It can leave you feeling nauseous. If you can manage it, it's also quite nice to have something a little starchy yet easy to digest like half a banana or a cookie, if doctors allow you to take food.

Afterwards, I was on a morphine drip for 5 days and oral painkillers for the entire time in hospital -- I'm still on them now but a much-reduced dose...

It's important to mobilise yourself as soon as the nurses let you. Take little gentle walks around the place -- gets the circulation, respiration and digestive system up and running.
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGary
I'm afraid I'm going to be puking all over the place.

I'm weird. They are going to cut a 6-inch hole in my back and remove one of my lamina and a disc, and I'm worried about anesthesia.

Derrrr...
I had that same surgery, you should have to stay overnight in the hospital, then leave the next morning. If you react to the general the same way I did, you won't want to leave! I was woozy and sick all day, I couldn't keep anything but ice chips and crackers down until breakfast. When I was in pre-op, they gave me an injection of 'happy juice' to slow down my system before getting the full general in the OR. The 'juice' knocked me out so fast, I don't even remember being wheeled to the OR, next thing I knew I was waking up in Recovery. Recovery was easily the most miserable experience of my life...groggy, confused, feeling sick and weak, I couldn't even speak for several minutes. Didn't last that long, and generals effect different people different ways, so YMMV.

Not much pain though. If you're having the surgery for the same reason I did, a pinched nerve, your nerve will feel 100% better when you wake up. You will need to be careful with your back until the surgery site begins to heal though. The nurses even had to help me out of bed and to the bathroom as much because of the surgery as recovering from the anesthesia. It is also VERY important to follow what your doctor recommends for recovery. Mine was lots of walking (1 to 1.5 miles at a time every day) followed by specific back exercises once I was recovered enough, about two weeks. That is important because if you don't strengthen your back muscles, you can easily re-injure your spine again.

Last edited by iPoster; Sep 13, 2005 at 07:35 AM.
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:32 AM   #13
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It's nothing too much to worry about in my experience. The anaesthetist will likely come round and talk to you about while calculating exactly how much you need with regard to your age, size and general reaction to medicines.

A couple of pills and a paper cup later and you'll be out. Can't remember if I had gas/injections or what but that may be to do with how quickly I went out! Grogginess possibly depends on the length of time and severity of the op I think.

This experience was from when I had a knee op when I was younger and they miscalculated my size and recommended dosage for my age (6ft at 14). They gave me too much and had to hit me with a shot of adrenaline to wake me up. Couldn't sleep for about 24 hours after that, but it meant it was no trouble staying up all night and watching the Bulls march to another NBA trophy.

Plenty of people get worried about Generals but if you are in good health aside from the subject of the op itself, you should be fine.

Hope it does the trick iGary!
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:44 AM   #14
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got about 5 general anesthesias in my life. there is nothing to worry about. you go in, they give you an IV. they turn it up, you wake up in your room. you don't even really remember how you fell asleep. you think 1 min has passed, you're tired and a little dizzy. the fact that you urgently need to pee now tell's you it's been much more than 1 min.

good luck with the surgery.
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:47 AM   #15
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Thanks all.

I know I'm a whimp, but wanted to know how others made out.

Doesn't sound TOO bad.
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 07:54 AM   #16
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I had general anesthesia once, when I had my wisdom teeth out.

I passed out while they were putting in the IV - I was a little nervous, but I didn't feel too nervous until all the sudden I was on my back with the nurse calling my name. Then I was a bit embarrassed. (My mother is an RN in that very OR, so the doctor and staff were all hand picked by her, as a favor. She teased me about how I gave them all a fright by passing out, since they knew my mother would flip if anything untoward happened).

When they actually had me in the OR the doctor said, "OK, I'm going to give you the anesthesia now". I felt an ever so slight burning in my arm, and thought "Hmm, I wonder how long it will ta----". Out. Then I woke up in the recovery room. I was a little out of it, I certainly couldn't drive or anything.

I'm Catholic, but I imagine that if you don't believe in an afterlife dying is just like getting anaestesia; boom, you're out, that's it.
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 08:07 AM   #17
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The last time I had surgery (January 2, 1986) I was knocked out via IV.

As for what it felt like...

They had put the IV in before I had gone into surgery, and it really wasn't that bad. When the doctor and his assistant showed up the anesthesiologist let me know that it was time.

He ask me to start counting backwards from 100. I felt a warm sensation moving up my arm from the IV and then into my chest. A moment later I felt like I was walking out of a fog... but I wasn't, I was lying in recovery... and I got sick.

It took a few minutes to finally become completely cognizant of my surroundings, but all and all it wasn't a bad experience. The time for the surgery was completely gone (as if it hadn't happened). It felt like (going from fully awake before the surgery back to fully awake again after) it had only taken a couple minutes (the surgery was about 4 hours as I recall).
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 08:27 AM   #18
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My experiences with general..

A lot like what Racer described: hooked up the IV, then came the injection, after a few seconds I could feel some warmness spreading up my arm, then my chest and finally my eyelids just started feeling really heavy.

When I wake up, out of the OR, I feel really really groggy... can barely lift my head to look around to see where I am. Both times my parents had to help me walk to the car. Got home and had something light to eat... soup, crackers... then more sleep. Few hours later I'm feeling infinitely better and I fall asleep around a semi-regular time and sleep for a good 9-10 hours.

Never got sick, just sort of dizzy and feeling "out of it".
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 08:39 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Blue Velvet
Hey Gary... don't worry.

Had it myself for the first time just over 6 weeks ago for major surgery.
It's not like sleep at all: no dreaming, no tossing & turning etc.

In my case, the anaesthetist was in a small room off from the main theater. I was wheeled in on my bed. Some lines were inserted into my left hand and forearm, he disappeared behind me to check something... we chatted for a few seconds and then... I woke up in a large sunny room.

It will seem like a handful of seconds will have passed since the anaesthetist induced full anaesthesia and waking up in the recovery room. Depending on the surgery they will have already put you on post-op pain relief and you may just feel fine and dandy like I did. Upon awakening, they will probably ask you a few simple questions to ascertain your mental state.

Afterwards, you may be thirsty -- don't gulp water, though. It can leave you feeling nauseous. If you can manage it, it's also quite nice to have something a little starchy yet easy to digest like half a banana or a cookie, if doctors allow you to take food.

Afterwards, I was on a morphine drip for 5 days and oral painkillers for the entire time in hospital -- I'm still on them now but a much-reduced dose...

It's important to mobilise yourself as soon as the nurses let you. Take little gentle walks around the place -- gets the circulation, respiration and digestive system up and running.
Glad to hear you are OK sweets!

I've done my share of chemicals in my past but this is a little scary for me.

I'm sure it will be fine.

That, and my neurosurgeon is dreamy.
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 08:45 AM   #20
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When i had surgery on my teeth like ten years ago they used a gas on me, i don't believe they use that anymore for anyone. I had surgery last july on my knee and they used IV therapy. And the last thing i said to the Doctor was "It tastes like burning" But seriously it tasted like burning.

I thought that was the coolest thing ever. It feels cold going into your arm and it burns down your throat for some reason.

You will be fine iGary so don't worry, i love anesthesia because it made me feel all loopy >_>

Enjoy.
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 08:48 AM   #21
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I've had general anesthisia about 11 times now (long story ...).

The gas is fine i remember once the anesthitist asked me to count to 10 whilst he put the mask over my nose and mouth. ( i reached 3 or so )

The IV isn't much worse (and i'm not a huge fan of needles!).

You do feel pretty groggy afterward when you come to, well i least i did, and its definately worth getting someone along to help take you home. They could just be there to pick you up and make sure you get into bed ok when you get home. You'll prob be asleep for a good 10 hours after that.

On the whole the administration of the anesthetic is not unpleasant.

Best of luck with your surgery iGary
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 08:52 AM   #22
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I've had general anesthisia about 11 times now (long story ...).

The gas is fine i remember once the anesthitist asked me to count to 10 whilst he put the mask over my nose and mouth. ( i reached 3 or so )

The IV isn't much worse (and i'm not a huge fan of needles!).

You do feel pretty groggy afterward when you come to, well i least i did, and its definately worth getting someone along to help take you home. They could just be there to pick you up and make sure you get into bed ok when you get home. You'll prob be asleep for a good 10 hours after that.

On the whole the administration of the anesthetic is not unpleasant.

Best of luck with your surgery iGary
Unless they keep me overnight, I'm having the midshipman I sponsor from the Naval Academy pick me up and get me settled at home. I'm sure I'll be just fine - I'm just a worrier.
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 08:53 AM   #23
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My wife's an RN and has both been in a number of anesthetized surgeries and has had some herself.

Most patients do just fine - as described above. Redheads are a bit more sensitive to anesthesia (not sure why, but apparently it's true), but that isn't an issue unless your anesthesiologist is color-blind.

Some people - including my wife - are prone to a bit of nausea afterwards, but it's usually short-lived and it isn't an issue with most people. One thing that helps is to pay strict attention to the fasting/drinking instructions they'll give you beforehand. That cookie might seem like nothing when you're hungry before you go in, but you'll regret it upon waking up.

Also, depending on the anesthesia and your particular reaction to it, you'll almost undoubtedly have some period - a few seconds to an hour or so - of time where you are lucid but don't have functional short-term memory... meaning you might say naughty things to your neurosurgeon but then will have no idea why he's looking at you like that later on....
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 08:55 AM   #24
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Unless they keep me overnight, I'm having the midshipman I sponsor from the Naval Academy pick me up and get me settled at home. I'm sure I'll be just fine - I'm just a worrier.
Is this the same guy who is likely to post naked pictures of women all over your bedroom so you'll wake up, see them, but be too weak to take them down?
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Old Sep 13, 2005, 08:55 AM   #25
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My wife's an RN and has both been in a number of anesthetized surgeries and has had some herself.

Most patients do just fine - as described above. Redheads are a bit more sensitive to anesthesia (not sure why, but apparently it's true), but that isn't an issue unless your anesthesiologist is color-blind.

Some people - including my wife - are prone to a bit of nausea afterwards, but it's usually short-lived and it isn't an issue with most people. One thing that helps is to pay strict attention to the fasting/drinking instructions they'll give you beforehand. That cookie might seem like nothing when you're hungry before you go in, but you'll regret it upon waking up.

Also, depending on the anesthesia and your particular reaction to it, you'll almost undoubtedly have some period - a few seconds to an hour or so - of time where you are lucid but don't have functional short-term memory... meaning you might say naughty things to your neurosurgeon but then will have no idea why he's looking at you like that later on....
I have plenty of dirty things in my mind, nd it doesn't help that my neurosurgeon is hot. I'm effed.
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