1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Dementia and medical procedures

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Kirstie, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. Kirstie

    Kirstie Registered User

    Jun 18, 2012
    My father has dementia. He has lost the ability to speak and pretty much do anything for himself. He has been very ill and the doctor wants him to have an endoscopy. My mother is obviously very worried about him going under anaesthetic and was wondering if anyone had been in a similar situation?

  2. Ann Mac

    Ann Mac Registered User

    Oct 17, 2013
    Hi Kirstie, My Mil has catarects and the consultant felt that she wouldn't be able to cooperate with having the surgery done under local anaesthetic, so suggested it be done under general. We had a meeting with the anaethetist, who explained the risks and he told us that yes, there was a good chance that her dementia would become very much worse if she did have a general :( We made the decision not to go ahead. However, that was avery different proceedure to what you are describing for your Dad, so perhaps in his case, the risks of not having the surgery may be greater? I honestly think you should ask to speak to an anaethetist, or a specialist and ask them to be honest with you about the risks of having/not having the endoscopy - with more information, it might be a lot easier for you and your Mum to decide what the best option for your Dad is xxxx
  3. notsogooddtr

    notsogooddtr Registered User

    Jul 2, 2011
    I have similar dilemma,my Dad has had skin cancer,tolerated surgery under local anaesthetic about 4 years ago.He is now in a NH and has been referred by his GP as he has a new lesion,due to mix up we weren't told so carer went with him.Anyway he has now been referred to ontology,next appt on 22nd.I am minded not to take him,he is 94,advanced AD,incredibly frail and I can't see him being as to tolerate any treatment.ny advice anyone?
  4. Weary

    Weary Registered User

    Aug 1, 2014
    Its a very difficult decision to make as the anaesthetic can accelerate the dementia. There are no easy options and i would discuss it with the medical staff to see if it is absolutely
  5. daisydi

    daisydi Registered User

    Feb 25, 2015
    I didn't think endoscopy was done under general anaesthetic but maybe they do in some cases. I was under the impression that sedation was used.
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    It usually is, but if the doctors think he would not be able to cope with it its done under a general. A bit like Ann Macs MIL and her cataracts - they are usually done under local, but if they cant keep still it can be done under general.

    The trouble is that a general anesthetic can advance the dementia - though not always.
  7. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    I believe you're right, Daisy as my hubby had it done a couple of times many years ago. He was sedated both times.
  8. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
    #8 stanleypj, Sep 11, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
    Are we talking about about a gastroscopy? If so, they are often done without sedation. When I had one a few years ago, the doc who was doing them many times every day told me that he very rarely came across people who needed sedation and could alway tell which did after he'd talked to them for a couple of minutes. Although I was not looking forward to it, it was pretty tolerable. Impossible to say what it would be like for your father but perhaps they might at least try doing it with sedation.

    I would be very cautious about agreeing to a GA.
  9. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    My husband suffers from Alzheimer's and has recently had a colonoscopy.

    He was very confused following all the prep etc before the procedure and so we opted for sedation.

    He was fine with no long lasting effects.
  10. marmarlade

    marmarlade Registered User

    Jan 26, 2015

    my hubby has to have endoscopy every 2 years for bad reflux he has had two since he has had dementia ,these were done with a spray to the throat to numb it, he dosent mind this at all [braver than me] we have to see the Doctor first so he can assess my hubby but other than that he is fine with having it done this way, we try to explain to him what will happen but this seems to confuse him so just leave it to the Doctor to explain and with the throat spray there are no side effects.
  11. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
    Yes, I think they give everyone the numbing throat spray which makes it easier for the camera to go down. You have to wait 20 minutes or so afterwards for it to wear off before you can safely eat or drink.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.