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General vs epidural for vertical incision
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General vs epidural for vertical incision

Has anyone had epidural for large vertical incision?  If so, do you recommend?  

And what about these staples I keep reading about?  Staples to hold the incision together?  Metal staples?  How many?  I had c-section surgery in the past for myomectomy and did not have staples.  Please explain.  Thanks a bunch.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello.  I had a large (25cm) cyst removed last week under general anesthetic and have a vertical incision.  It goes from my pubic region to above my belly button and I have about 30 staples in. They are about 5mm long and go either side of the cut.  I can't see how these alone hold everything in - I think they must stich under first.  I am getting this on Monday (10 days later) by the nurse at my GP and they have given me special scissors to give to her - apparently this does not hurt at all and has been described as 'a relief'.  

I must admit that I got a fright when I saw them as they don't look great - but have had no pain at all and feel fine to walk around, get up and down stairs ect. I think they are better and apparently help reduce scarring.  Hope this helps you and good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I think with the vertical they would prefer general, unless you've got an underlying medical issue (i.e. heart problems). The anestesiologist (sp) will discuss with you and decide the best course of action for your particular situation.

I had the staples for a c-section and they are awesome!  They stitch you internally and then do the final close with the staples - it gives a tighter, flatter close.  It does look weird, but they will be removed in a week or so and the removal is totally painless.

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Avatar_f_tn
I had my tumor debulking last July and my incision started above my navel and extended down to the pubic line.  I had many staples to hold things together and they stayed in for about 10 days.  Removal was a piece of cake, just an occasional pinch.  The incision healed beautifully and today you can barely see the scar.  That's pretty amazing to me.
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Avatar_n_tn
Absolutely general. You don't want to be awake, just rest.
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Avatar_n_tn


Absolutely spinal! I think there's some confusion about what type of spinal anesthesia given for a vertical incision.

Actually, it's not an epidural like the one given for childbirth or a C-section. Instead, the option is for a spinal anesthesia that keeps your lower body pain free for up to 48 hours. At the same time the anesthesiologist ALSO keep you sedated with IV meds, so you are completely unaware of anything going on in the OR. In other words, you are NOT awake!

This is the type of anesthesia I had, and I would recommend it for several reasons:

-- As mentioned above, it avoids the need for pain meds for the first 48 hours after surgery. By the time the spinal wears off, you have already started to heal and the pain is less intense. In my case it was beautifully controlld with a few Darvocet over a period of three days. By the way, your lower body is NOT numb, and you can move about in your bed normally.

-- You do not have to be intubated with the anesthesia thinggy. This means no sore throat upon awakening.

-- The painful shoulders so many women speak about on this site are apparently associated with a certain type of general anesthesia. If you choose the spinal, you won't have thos post-op shoulder pains adding to your general misery.

-- Since you have not had what is commonly known as a general anesthesia, you won't be nauseated when you wake up, and can have juice, soda, whatever just about immediately. The first thing I did when I emerged from sedation was to ask for a Sprite, and they brought it to me directly. Another woman in the recovery area saw this and also asked for something to drink; they told her she had to wait because she'd had a different type of anesthesia.

My experience with the spinal was so overwhelmingly positive, that I hope you will consider it. Again, you do NOT know what goes on in the operating room, and you will have no memory of it afterwards.

Best of luck!
Annette

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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for that postitive review on spinal anesthetics! I will be having one for my surgery (open laparoscopy for TAH) on the 16th and it is good to hear your feedback. I must admit, that even though I have been through a lot, I was a little bid scared of the spinal! Not of being awake or anything, just of getting a needle in my back. This from a person who had give herself many shots, started her own IV's (through a special port) and has had a couple of emergency life-saving surgeries. You would think I would be braver!
Michelle
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Avatar_n_tn

Hah, I think anything involving the spine is scary to anyone. But I swear on all that's precious to me that it did NOT hurt -- you will be so sedated by that time you'll hardly even know it's happening.
Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
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119341_tn?1232567357
I hate needles and the thought of one going in my back. Well that just gives me the willies. But I didn't even feel the spinal for my last c-section and I was fully awake. They give you a shot just under the skin to numb it first. He started laughing at me because I asked him when it was going to be over and he said it was over.
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, thanks for the info.  - I will definately ask for spinal.  Do you have to get a catheter w/the spinal?  That's what I'm really afraid of.
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Avatar_n_tn
Catheters are not bad at all! If you are having an open surgery, you will have a catheter placed while in the OR. You most likely will be already sedated or asleep. Even when you are a wake, because of the way a woman's body is built, getting a catheter is a piece of cake. Not much fun for a man! But I can honestly say, it is one of the easiest procedures I have undergone and it sure makes it easier right after surgery to not have to use a bed pan! Getting it out is simple too -no pain involved.
Michelle
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Avatar_n_tn
But for me, it is deadly excruciatingly painful.  I had one over a year ago and something happened when they took it out - maybe they didn't remove the water in the bulb that holds it in place, or maybe it was too large? I don't know but it is the worst pain I have ever felt and nothing seemed to help I just wimpered and kept calling for a nurse and they told me to keep pressing the pain button, but it did not help.  Here it is over 14 months later and I still hurt there.  The thought of it again - I just can't think.  Is there any way to NOT get a catheter??  Add to that fear the whole surgery fear and I'm a total basket case, I cry constantly and my surgery isn't even scheduled yet.
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108861_tn?1227249648
Hi Apricot,
    I can totally cocur with Annette (Litdoc).  I had the epidural with the seditive not once, but two days in a row.  That part stinks but the epidural rules!  I sprung a leak in the shower within an hour or two of being discharged after my laparotomy (horizontal with staples) I have absolutly no recollection of the actual epidural as I was asleep, totally.  The only operating room memory I have, and it was vague, is when the surgical team sat me up to try to find the source of the bleeding on the second surgery.  Not scary and surprised I remember it at all.  I worried, before surgery #1 that the seditive/epidural route might involve more awareness than I wanted but unfound fears altogether!  I will never have general again given a choice!  I have had general with open surgery and cannot recommend it.  The last thing you want upon waking is puking, that stinks with an abdominal incision!  Go for the epidural,  it is way superior to the general with it's known issues!  You will not be awake, don't worry!  MV
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