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Operations and anaesthetics.

Mossyanne1

Registered User
Feb 10, 2015
45
Can anybody tell me if anaesthetics can make the alzheimers worse and if so how long will it last. Thank you.


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Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,679
66
Toronto, Canada
I have no personal experience but yes, I have heard that a general anaesthetic can have a negative impact on dementia. The person can improve but not necessarily to where they were prior to surgery.

However, this disease is so variable it's impossible to say.

My sister and I decided against a general anaethetic for my mother because we were told the surgery (cataract removal) would only marginally improve her quality of life.
 

chick1962

Registered User
Apr 3, 2014
11,282
near Folkestone
Can anybody tell me if anaesthetics can make the alzheimers worse and if so how long will it last. Thank you.


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Yes it can make it worse as we are facing that decision at the moment ! Confusion after op might only be for days/weeks but can also be permanently. We are weighing up the risk at the moment as my OH needs a big op! I think quality of life and age comes into it and perhaps how much understanding of op the person with dementia has?! But the surgeon will talk it through with you all first . Xx


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Caroleca

Registered User
Jan 11, 2014
331
Ontario canada
Yes. I believe that it can be dangerous. Mom needs minor surgery for a very large prolapse(poor ma) but Dr. Says...no way....not worth it...she could wake up with all kinds of issues.
Carole
 

Mossyanne1

Registered User
Feb 10, 2015
45
Thank you all so very much, unfortunately my hubbie has to have an operation on a hernia, specialist was quite insistent, apparently it's a nasty one and if it strangulates it could be fatal. So I'm between a rock and a hard place.


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marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,135
Scotland
Would you be able to stay in the hospital with him so as to limit his confusion and see that he doesn't try to get out of bed? These are main problems in the hospital and often worsen the physical situation. You would also be able to help him eat and drink properly
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
62,856
69
Dundee
Would you be able to stay in the hospital with him so as to limit his confusion and see that he doesn't try to get out of bed? These are main problems in the hospital and often worsen the physical situation. You would also be able to help him eat and drink properly
I can't agree enough with that. If it's at all possible I would do that.
 

Mossyanne1

Registered User
Feb 10, 2015
45
Thank you Marion very good idea, I will ask the powers that be tomorrow at his pre-op. Very nervous stomach about the whole thing, I love him to bits and it is all very upsetting.


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CeliaThePoet

Registered User
Dec 7, 2013
615
Buffalo, NY, USA
My 84 year old mother with dementia was very ill with a strangulated hernia. The operation and healing went fine, but the delirium for 11 days after was the most horrible experience we've been through and I would do anything to avoid it in future. She hallucinated, called me screaming that she was being murdered, she ripped out tubes and her own stitches, and I was told she could not return to her assisted living place. The hospital tried to kick her out prematurely as early as day 4. It calmed down and she then remembered nothing of the experience, but I don't consider that a success, at all. They did not have many options for us other than surgery, same as your situation. I'm sorry I don't have more positive things to say to you. Best of luck.
 

dumpygirl

Registered User
Nov 20, 2013
115
derbyshire
Can anybody tell me if anaesthetics can make the alzheimers worse and if so how long will it last. Thank you.


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My husband who has heart trouble and alzeimers had his hernia operation a couple of years ago. A general anaesthetic was not recommended and it was done with an epidural which worked really well. He was only kept in one night and has not been any trouble since. Perhaps an epidural might be suitable for your husband.
Good luck with whatever you are facing.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
13,232
England
My husband had a hernia operation because of the dangerous complications and though he was more confused after the operation and for a couple of weeks after, he did return to where he was before the operation as far as his dementia state.nThe decision to allow the operation was based on the surgeons prognosis if it was not done.

Speak with the consultant or surgeon to see what the situation would be if the hernia was not operated on.
 

Mossyanne1

Registered User
Feb 10, 2015
45
Hi Jaymor, the surgeon was in no doubt that my hubbie needs this operation. I am definately going to ask if an epidural could be an option. He has atrial fibrillation and is on warfarin tablets, consequently he will need injections for 5 days prior to the op. Hey Ho!!! Thank you all for your input, so grateful...xxx


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Cath59

Registered User
Jan 23, 2015
46
My mum had a hip operation last Wednesday. Anaesthetic and op both essential, so no choice. We've had a pretty rough time, and yesterday she was the worst I've ever seen her. She didn't have a clue where she was, who anyone was, was very angry and miserable and had refused to do anything the physios wanted her to. I've just had a phone call from the discharge nurse. They can't believe how much better she is today. She's been up, cooperating etc, and they're sending her back to her care home while she's well! (Good idea, as she's had a few hospital admissions recently and she's always much worse in hospital than out). After last night I find it really hard to believe things have changed so much, but that's the eighth day after the anaesthetic, so thought I'd add it to the thread. Looking forward to seeing her later today :)
 

WIFE

Registered User
May 23, 2014
856
WEST SUSSEX
My poor husband had mild dementia, suffered very severe post operative delirium due to the anaesthetic following a hip fracture and was not able to return home before ending his days in a Nursing Home due to the extreme dementia and medical problems exacerbated by anaesthetic. Avoid if you possibly can!
 

Mossyanne1

Registered User
Feb 10, 2015
45
Hi all, OH had his pre-med yesterday it took 3 hours, waiting here and waiting there. They agree that he should stay in overnight and are trying to go for an epidural. Trying not too think too much about it. Thank you all for your advice, very grateful.


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Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,478
Suffolk
I've had a hip and knee replacement, both done with an epidural and light anaesthesia, just so I wasn't awake. Some surgeons prefer it, I think.
OH had a femero-popliteal vein graft last year and he had epidural as well. He promptly removed epidural ( don't know how!). Cannula and drains, but apart from that it all went OK. The only problem was a nurse who definition of sterile technique was at odds with reality, which led to infection. Can't blame OH for that one!
 

Cath59

Registered User
Jan 23, 2015
46
Just rereading my overly optimistic post yesterday. Yes, my mum had been "difficult " but the orthopaedic ward was obviously so keen to get rid of her only 8 days after her hip op that they sent her back to her care home with suspected UTI, water retention and fast AF. Spent most of the afternoon and evening with her being readmitted to hospital. Oh, and home not expecting her quite so quickly didn't have a hospital bed ready so she rolled out of bed this morning. So much unnecessary stress and discomfort for her. Can I scream now?
 
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Mossyanne1

Registered User
Feb 10, 2015
45
Hi All,it's so difficult to know what the best is for OH and for myself. I'm having to give him injections in his stomach in the mornings as he has had to come off his warfarin. Never given one in my life but it went better they I thought it would. I don't think he was really awake. Have been out with the dogs but oh such confusion. Can I scream as well PLEASE!!!


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Trishab

Registered User
Jun 1, 2014
2
Northumberland UK
Can anybody tell me if anaesthetics can make the alzheimers worse and if so how long will it last. Thank you.


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Yes it can. In my mother's case she had an anaesthetic whilst in early onset. She went into hospital as one person and came out as someone else. A year later following fairly rapid deterioration of the dementia she had to have another anaesthetic but this time the effect wasn't so dramatic but there was definitely additional confusion which hasn't gone away. Hope this helps