Hello, I have a question about the effects of general anaesthetic on dementia

Lynnechr

Registered User
Aug 11, 2015
1
KENT
Any information, facts or experiences welcome to help make a decision as to whether to go ahead with a simple operation under general anaesthetic on a parent diagnosed with dementia.
Many thanks,
Lynnechr
 

cragmaid

Registered User
Oct 18, 2010
7,942
North East England
Hello and welcome Lynne, I have no doubt that there will be replies from people whose loved ones have had operations under general anaesthetic.
Luckily my late Mum didn't need a GA procedure, however I have read here may many times that a GA can take a huge length of time to shake off. I would suggest that you talk to the Doctors and the Anaesthetist for advice.
Unless it's a life changing necessity, I would say no.
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,029
Suffolk
Many ops can be done under epidural. I think if you gave us more info, there would be more replies.
If it's advanced dementia is the op necessary?
 

CeliaThePoet

Registered User
Dec 7, 2013
614
Buffalo, NY, USA
My mother, then 83, had emergency surgery for a strangulated hernia when she was stage 4/5. For 11 horrifying days after, she had delirium, tearing at incision, jumping out of bed, calling me screaming that they were murdering her. This passed, but nearly had her turned away from her assisted living placement in the meantime. Delirium is rather common for the elderly, both with and without dementia, and can pass quickly or be permanent. I would be very against any operation in the future.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
1,982
Victoria, Australia
OH had a general anesthetic about 4 months before he had his AD diagnosis and he suffered increased confusion and was a concern for the nursing staff. He now requires surgery for a hernia but our doctors are quite reluctant to do it not only because of the AD but as his general health is also poor.

This seems to be a common response to a general anesthetic. If the patient is on warfarin, then an epidural should be out of the question as the risks of bleeding into the spine canal are very high.
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,029
Suffolk
Yes, that's true, but we don't actually know the problem here. We can talk theoreticals all day/ night. OH had vascular work done, but under epidural. The choice was that or lose his leg. Even then he managed to remove cannula, epidural and drains. He also resisted, post op, the regular monitoring required.
 

chick1962

Registered User
Apr 3, 2014
11,282
near Folkestone
Any information, facts or experiences welcome to help make a decision as to whether to go ahead with a simple operation under general anaesthetic on a parent diagnosed with dementia.
Many thanks,
Lynnechr
My husband needs 2 operations under GA . I am aware of the risks involved with having dementia . However a spinal tap is not available for husbands ops . If he does not have the operations he will be bed ridden within a year and as he is only 65 I had to weigh up quality of life . It's an extremely hard decisions to make and even though we are going ahead I am terrified and worry constantly about it . Do speak with consultants about it but ultimately the decision is yours to make x


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1954

Registered User
Jan 3, 2013
3,835
Sidcup
My mil had 3 operations with general anaesthetic and it affected her really badly. She was screaming on the ward. Screaming at other patients etc and it took her weeks to get over it and increased her confusion and the family convinced it made her dementia worse