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Risking surgery with General Anesthetic

Hi all. I'm posting this from the UK where medical practice might be different from the USA for example.
My question is directed to members with sleep apnoea who have had surgery or from doctors, not merely advice from anyone who has not.
So essentially the question is quite simple but the answer for the patient - me - could be critical in terms of successfully surviving the operation.
I am described as a "mild" sufferer of sleep apnoea but nevertheless have used a CPAP machine with varying success over the past few years. It has been modified to ASV output as my condition is changing to mixed apnoea, i.e. obstructive and central.

I am facing the prospect of having a repeat operation for an inguinal hernia as the first using open surgery and mesh failed. An aspect of the failure might have been that the NHS used local anesthetic, at my request, to remove any risk of using General Anesthetic. I'll not attempt to reiterate these risks here as they are well documented and anyone needing to have surgery should already have considered that risk.

Surgery for a recurrent inguinal hernia is very much more difficult than the first time around. Generally speaking the opposite method to the first time would be used which in my case would be keyhole (laparoscopy) surgery which by definition requires full general anesthetic. In my case spinal or block anesthesia has been offered but that too is difficult for me as I also suffer from peripheral neuropathy, nerve damage of unknown source to the legs.

So, if you have undergone surgery requiring anesthetic similar to what I am facing, or a doctor experienced in this I would very much appreciate your advice and comments. At present, the level of discomfort and the necessary avoidance of heavy tasks are bearable. That may not long remain the case. Dont-know

Thank you so much. Thanks

  1. Thanks all. I'm sure I'll be ok during the operation. My concern is that general anaesthetic and morphine worsen your apnoea on the night of the operation and at this point in time no arrangements have been made to keep me in overnight.

    1. It's a legitimate concern, . I hope you ask your doctor and the anesthesiologist about it before your surgery. You will be monitored as you recover from the worst of the anaesthetic and morphine, so that should help. If they notice abnormalities, I am sure they will keep you. When you return home, you should have your CPAP available. Even if your apnea is worse, the CPAP should do its job and keep you breathing. They will likely offer you opioids for post-surgical pain. I have refused them after my last two surgeries and I actually did well on Tylenol alone. You might want to avoid opioids as well if you are concerned about your breathing while sleeping. Please check in after your surgery if you can. I will be anxious to hear how you are doing. - Lori (Team Member)

  2. Unfortunately I am having a second inguenal hernia operation, this time keyhole which means I have to have geneal anaesthetic. I am going in as a day case. Do I need to stay overnight?

    1. Hi . I wish we could help, but we are not medical experts, so we really can't comment on whether you need to spend the night. Please do talk to your doctor about whether there is any risk involved in your surgery. You can talk to the anesthesiologist before the surgery as well. Hopefully, that will put you at ease. I hope the surgery goes well and that your recovery is quick and uneventful. Keep us posted if you don't mind. I will be thinking of yo. - Lori (Team Member)

  3. I am in the US. I also have mixed apnea; obstructive and central. I've been using a CPAP machine for about 6 years. Unfortunately, I have had several surgeries during that time, all under general anesthesia. One was nearly 8 hours long as I had an internal obstruction (my 4th) caused by scarring that required removal of all intestines while they separated each from another. I don't know what your question is, specifically. Are you concerned about stopping breathing under anesthesia? That is 100% controlled by the anesthesiologist, and they aren't going to let that happen. After the surgery, you are welcome to have your CPAP in your room so that you can continue using it. It sounds like you are in bad shape. Get that hernia taken care of. You'll be fine.

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