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Epidural Anesthesia for Hysterectomy?



Has anyone ever had an epidural (spinal) instead of a general anesthetic for a hysterectomy? Do you think it's better? Did you have more pain or less pain - how about nausea? Thanks very much!!

I am an anesthesiologist, and I had my hysterectomy under spinal anesthesia. It was terrific - I had NO PAIN whatsoever and no nausea either.

Spinals and epidurals are similar anesthetics - they both block pain impulses from the lower half of the body from reaching the brain. Spinals use a smaller needle, work faster and (I think) give a denser block. Epidurals take a little longer to kick in, but a catheter can be put in the epidural space to make the numbness last as long as you want it to, and it can be used for post-op pain relief.

General anesthesia usually means you get a breathing tube and go on a ventilator, have more chance of nausea and vomiting, and you might wake up with some pain, as we have to make an educated guess as to how much pain medicine you'll need. (They can make up the difference, if any, in the recovery room)

If you don't like the idea of knowing what is going on during the surgery, your anesthesiologist can sedate you so you remember little to nothing of the surgery.

Spinals are my favorite anesthetic, from both the doctor and patient sides.

I highly recommend the neuraxial (spinal or epidural) technique.

(Unless they are planning a laparoscopic assisted vag hyster, and then you go to sleep. No choice there.)

Good luck to you! Source(s): I'm an anesthesiologist.
My mom had an epidural when she had a hysterectomy. She was a bit nauseous, but she didn't have as much pain.
I had an epidural when I was in labor. It's not that you can't feel anything, you just don't feel any pain. I could still feel the pressure of the contractions, but it didn't hurt. I felt my obstetrician putting stitches in me, but again, there was no pain. The most painful thing was getting the anesthetic injection in my back so it wouldn't hurt when they put the epidural in. That burns a bit. I didn't have any nausea or other bad side-effects. I would recommend getting an epidural instead of general anesthesia if it's offered.
http://www.althysterectomy.org/whywould....
http://www.whale.to/a/hysterectomy1.html...
Perhaps it is your only option but please do research the alternatives.
An an anesthesiologist who practices both obstetric anesthesia as well as anesthesia for surgery, I would say that my patients in the OR do better with epidural anesthesia. The pain relief is better afterwards and there is a much lower chance of nausea/vomiting after the anesthetic.

I usually give light sedation as well during the procedure, as I doubt most people want to be wide awake for their own surgery (excepting Cesarean sections).
It depends what kind of hysterectomy you are talking about,if you are talking about a total hysterectomy then you have anesthesia where they put you completly out,but today I know there are different ways they can do slight hysterectomys like through the belly button etc.As far as spinals and epidurals I have had both due to csections and hated the epidural and was nauseous after.with the spinal you dont feel a thing,with epidural i could still feel a pulling sensation plus I just couldnt stand how they put a catheter in the spine too,but thats just me,so I do think to get better answers you must clarify what kind of hysterectomy you are having to begin with,I could have answered better also.
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