Anesthesia and Medicine???


My mom is going in for knee surgery on thursday (she tore her ACL and miniscus. The former being completely torn off the bone, and the latter being torn down the middle.)

And, she keeps rambling on and on about how she might “die” during the surgery, because of the anaesthesia (Sp?).

So, I was wondering what, if there are any fatalities from anaesthesia, and how high they might be. Does anyone else know of any complications that can arise during the restoration of ligiments (sp?), and the miniscus.

Obviously, if they cut her artery… but any others, because I really do not want to go sit in the waiting room for three hours, for an elective surgery. (I know… I should, but I am missing a lot, I MEAN A LOT at school by going.)

Deaths due strictly to anesthesia are quite rare in adults, as anesthesiologists are well trained to figure out the exact dosage required, taking into account a number of factors. It is vitally important that your mother disclose any medications she is currently taking as that can cause complications, and she should follow all instructions for pre-surgery behaviour (they probably will not want her to eat for 12-24 hours beforehand.)

First off, you and your mother need to relax. Mrs. Kunilou has had a number of joint repair operations, leading up to a complete knee replacement, and she’s still alive (and Kicking)

Now, remember, these are theoretical possibilities. There might be a 1-in-100 or a 1-in-1,000 chance of something actually happening. There are thousands of successful surgeries that take place every day.

Worst case scenario, yes you can die from anesthetic. My mother was allergic to opiate drugs, and when they gave her morphine as a pre-anesthetic, her blood pressure dropped to 0 and she stopped breathing. They had to get her over that before they could put her under again to operate.

My father had his throat swell (closing off his windpipe) after surgery, and they told me that was a not-uncommon reaction to the anesthetic. They had to put a tube down his throat, but he didn’t need a ventilator or anything like that.

As for the potentially lethal side effects of the surgery itself, I can think of a blood clot forming, breaking off and going to the heart or lung. Again, worst-case scenario.

Will there be someone waiting at the hospital? I ask that because it’s generally a good idea to have someone there when the doctor comes out to say how everything went.

So are anesthetists, commonly in the form of CRNAs (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists).

Just so nobody thinks MDs are the only ones who handle this stuff, or are the only ones qualified to.

The risk is real, if small. Counting Deaths Due to Medical Errors

What kind of anaesthetic would they use in this knee surgery? Do you think it would be local or general? And yes, there will be a lot of people there waiting for her. I think the count comes to 5 people total…

Any thoughts?

General anesthesia.

For knee surgery, I’d think the default would be general, but I don’t think it’d be the only option.

I’ve been under several times. I can’t say it’s fun, and yes, there is a very small chance of something happening, but the worst that’s happened to me is dry heaves after waking up.

She DEFINITELY wants to talk to her doctor about this. They might be willing to do an epidural or something and sedate her so she isn’t really aware of what’s going on if she’s that scared of being put under. My mom had hand surgery last year and they gave her something so that she forgot the whole thing; they had to do a nerve block in her armpit but she doesn’t remember anything after “I’m giving you something to help you relax,” and “We’re done!”

Proably a 1 in 10,000 chance of serious problems; higher if your mom has heart or lung problems.