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Paranoid delusions after surgery

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by janey, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. janey

    janey Registered User

    Jun 29, 2004
    86
    Hi everyone
    Although its my Mum who has dementia, this is a question about Dad: he's 80 and last week had surgery under general anaesthetic. He's normally totally alert, logical, on the ball and bright, but he's started to suffer from really terrifying and distressing delusions of being persecuted by other patients, staff, police etc, - its all his worst fears in fact. They seem absolutely real to him, but at the same time he is completely fine the rest of the time. The hospital are doing everything they can to find out what's going on and help him, but its very worrying to say the least. I feel so sorry for him, as he's suffering badly, and also I can't bear to think that he might be going the same way as Mum. Does anyone have any experience of this sort of problem?
     
  2. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    618
    Male
    Ronda Spain
    Anaesthetics

    Jane hi,

    This may not be what you want to hear and I suspect the medically trained on this forum can be more accurate but.....

    In Thailand (very good hospital and staff) 3 years ago I underwent surgery for the removal of my gall bladder (then a 2nd time as the drip came out too soon) All fine and 3 weeks later set sail for Sri Lanka....

    Before the operation I had a slight numbness of the extremities of my feet - following the operation that has developed to severe pins - needles - numbness and quite a lot of pain in my legs and arms - it is called peripheral neuropathy - and the exacerbation of this is frequently caused by the General Anesthetics which are administered during more major surgery!

    Having done research for myself I get the impression that the Anaesthetics are quite dangerous and can cause problems themselves - folks like Dearth will know more.. Not sure that's what's happened to your dad but it could be worth asking the question?

    Michael
     
  3. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi Jane,

    Sorry to hear about your father's situation. I found this very useful guide to post-operative confusion which has been put together by the Royal College of Anaesthetists:

    http://www.rcoa.ac.uk/docs/confusion.pdf

    (I think that this kind of rapid change can sometimes be called post-operative delirium)

    This comes from the Patient Information section of their web site:

    http://www.rcoa.ac.uk/index.asp?PageID=68

    Take care,

    Sandy
     
  4. janey

    janey Registered User

    Jun 29, 2004
    86
    Hello Michael and Sandy
    I'll follow up the links Sandy - thanks. Strangely enough Michael, Dad's surgery (laminectomy) was for peripheral neouropathy in the first place, and thankfully his legs seem to have improved since last week. They've put him on an anti-anxiety drug which seems to be calming him somewhat although he's still convinced the police have raided his house although (if this makes any sense) he also believes me when I tell him its not true. Time will tell, but I'm wondering about the future as he lives alone and is adamant that he'll not give up his independence. I guess we'll cross that bridge later. Have to go - am relying on my free hour on the internet at my local library, as my computer has broken down (again!). I'll keep yopu posted about waht happens and now I'll go to those linkswhile I've still got time.
     
  5. janey

    janey Registered User

    Jun 29, 2004
    86
    Just invested in an extra 1/2 hour on the computer - the information is very helpful indeed Sandy - it puts my mind at rest and I'll be able to reassure Dad with more conviction when I see him later. Thanks a lot.
     
  6. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    618
    Male
    Ronda Spain
    Janey hi,

    I know this is a bit off subject but what was the operation on your dad for again?
    I always understood that peripheral neuropathy was untreatable - like AD.

    (I had pain killers for a while but they are pretty destructive/strong but that is all the neurologist offered me. )

    What exactly was the operation intended to do?



    Michael
     
  7. janey

    janey Registered User

    Jun 29, 2004
    86
    Peripheral neuropathy

    Hello Michael
    I know there are many different causes of PN, and its often not traceable to a specific cause, but in Dad's case an MRI scan revealed advanced arthritic changes in his cervical vertebrae. This had resulted in his spinal cord becoming squashed and diverted - on the scan it looked like a meandering river. That was the cause of his PN. The laminectomy involved cutting away the bony arthritic growths to free the spinal cord. Its a delicate operation, and is done by neurosurgeons and sometimes orthopaedic ones. Hope this helps.
     
  8. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    618
    Male
    Ronda Spain
    Jane hi,

    Thanks for that information. If when I go to see the neurologist for me I will emphasise the pain in my back..

    regards

    Michael
     

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