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Dementia and medical procedures

Kirstie

Registered User
Jun 18, 2012
6
Hi
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?

Thanks
 

Ann Mac

Registered User
Oct 17, 2013
3,693
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
 

notsogooddtr

Registered User
Jul 2, 2011
912
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?
 

Weary

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
86
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
nessary.
 

daisydi

Registered User
Feb 25, 2015
255
Norfolk
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.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,630
South coast
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.
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.
 

Chuggalug

Registered User
Mar 24, 2014
8,007
Norfolk
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.
I believe you're right, Daisy as my hubby had it done a couple of times many years ago. He was sedated both times.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
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.
 
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JigJog

Registered User
Nov 6, 2013
237
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.
 

marmarlade

Registered User
Jan 26, 2015
183
endoscopy

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.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
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.