I'm having surgery Thursday. I'll be fine, right?

I’m having outpatient surgery Thursday morning. I have a benign (yay!) tumor under my right arm that needs to come out. I’ll be glad to have it over with, but I’m not looking forward to the whole thing where they knock me out and cut on me. I think my least favorite part of the process so far was when I went to schedule the surgery and they made me sign the waiver about general anesthesia which basically says, “I understand that the anesthesia could potentially paralyze me, give me brain damage, or kill me, but I’m okay with that.” Crap, I’m nervous. I know it’s minor, not exactly a heart transplant, but I have the heebie-jeebies. Last time I was in the hospital it was because I nearly died of pneumonia and it wasn’t terribly pleasant.

It’s silly to be worried, right? I’ve tried to stay calm about this but I’m afraid I’m starting to spaz out over it. Bleh, I hate being a wimp.

Yes, of course.

I promise you’ll be fine.
If not, I owe you a Coke. :wink:

If this is not the same forgive me but I had dental surgery before and the best part is when they knock you out, it’s the most relaxing feeling ever. One minute your counting backwards and in the same minute your sleep and all the stuff they do to you is irrelevant because your in the deepest sleep of your life.
Then after waking up you feel so relaxed, then later you START feeling some pain and you take whatever medecine the doctor gives you and after taking it you feel relaxed again.
You will want to be knocked out every single night after this :wink: .

I was knocked out for surgery a few years back. I was totally unaware of the passage of time from when I nodded out to when I woke up. No dreams; it was like they found my “off” switch.

No vital organs involved. You’ll be fine.

You’ll probably be fine. I’ve had a couple of tumors removed (one benign and one not so benign) and there’s nothing to it. Just be sure to follow the pre-op and post-op instructions.

I had a papilloma in my nipple removed, and I was given Vercid (I think, sp?) and I woke up just as the doc was stitching me up. My nose itched, and the anesthesiologist kindly scratched it for me (as my arms were restrained) and I could feel the tugging of the stitching, but no actual pain. I was in an extremely good mood, and my husband inquired as to whether he could just keep me on that medication on a regular basis. The answer, of course, was no.

I know how you feel, though. I was utterly convinced that I was gonna die on the table when I had my hysterectomy. I even went to the trouble of making out a new will and getting my affairs in order, even though I knew LOGICALLY that I’d most likely live through it, my gut was telling me that I was gonna die.

No big deal at all. If it was a big deal, it’d be an inpatient procedure. Relax, and look forward to a nice weekend of lounging on the couch in a haze of prescription narcotics, watching cartoons and infomercials with wide-eyed childlike wonder.

START, why do always capitalize the word START in your posts? I’m not giving you sh*t, I’m just curious.


You’ll be fine. I’ve had a few surgeries myself, and while my least favorite part about them was being knocked out, it was only because I had a sore throat afterwards.

I’ve had probably a dozen surgeries in my life that required general anaesthesia, and trust me, you’ll be fine. You may be nauseous afterward (a couple of times I even puked), and my least favorite part is the sore, scratchy throat from the irritation of the breathing tube. Sucking on ice chips and/or ice water helps that a lot, and it goes away fairly quickly. If you have ongoing problems with nausea afterward (only happened to me once, so you probably won’t), ask your doctor about anti-nausea drugs. I take Phenergan for nausea, and it’s usually pretty effective. When the Phenrgan doesn’t cut it, I have Compazine suppositories (yeah, I know, yuck; but it’s better than puking. In my book, anything’s better than puking).

I believe the drug Lynn Bodoni is referring to is Versed. One anasthesiologist told me it’s like “Valium on steroids”. It’s SOP for you to get some in your IV prior to surgery, so you don’t freak when they go to put you under. It also has an amnesiac quality on most people (doesn’t really work that way for me) so you may not have any memory of the time immediately prior to or after the surgery.

Good luck!

Hmm, I wonder if Versed is what they gave me before the last time I had surgery? All I remember is being in pre-op, and the guy puts this stuff in my IV, and the room tilts sideways and that’s it until waking up afterwards. If that’s what it was, it works great for me.

I think it’s normal to be nervous about these things. When I was a kid, I wasn’t (I had a couple of minor and one major surgery by the age of 12) but when I was 22 and had to sign the forms saying “you could die” I was plenty nervous. It’ll be fine!

The only bad part of the whole thing was some serious nausea. I wasn’t expecting that because when I was a kid it didn’t happen. Apparently now it does. They gave me something for it that didn’t work, then they gave me something else that knocked me on my ass but worked nicely.

Ok, I’m on board with the really good drugs part, but I have a new question. Breathing tube? You mean they don’t just put a scuba mask over you? I feel that the producers of MASH haven’t been completely honest with me. Maybe that’s the trade-off for not having surgery in a tent. But seriously, I didn’t know about that part. I have a very sensitive gag reflex. I guess I’ll have to rely on the drugs, just like they always taught us to do on all those PSAs I saw as a kid.

Speaking of being a kid, I’ll bet my doctor saw the same ones, since he’s about my age. Seriously, I’d be surprised if he was older than 30. And his name is Dr. Ngo, so it’s pronounced like the Bond villain. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the encouragement, everybody. I’m sure I’ll be fine. I’ll just have to try to make it fun, like telling the person doing the admitting paperwork that my religious preference is Minbari or asking them to give me a tummy tuck as long as I’m out.

The last time I had surgery was 1978, and IANAD, but I think they knock you out first (using the mask, drugs, ballpeen hammer, etc.), and then put the tube down your throat. At which point, you barely even have a gag reflex. Then they take it out before you wake up.

Or they stick a tube in every orifice of your body while you’re still fully awake, and dance around chanting something about Cthulhu and fishsticks. But like I said, IANAD.

As Dante says, they don’t put the tube in your throat until you’re under. If all goes well, they remove it before you come around, so except for the sore throat, you never know it’s there. There was one time that they waited until I was partially conscious before removing the tube, and that’s one of the times I puked. It was pretty nasty. But they shoot for that window of time between when you’re unconscious enough to not feel it, but conscious enough to breathe on your own.

I suspect Dante belongs to a really undesirable HMO.

Oh, one more thing, cbawlmer; if you suspect you might be too nervous to sleep well Wednesday night, you might consider asking your doctor about prescribing a sleeping pill.

I had sinus surgery 2 years ago and the experience was very much like Krokodil described. One minute I was laying there on the table with my eyes closed, listening to the doctor and his staff chatting and getting things ready. Then next minute I was in recovery, feeling like I was waking up from a long nap, though I had no dreams and no incliniation of how much time had past.

I’m sure you will be fine.

I’m working about 10 hours a day all week through Wednesday, so I doubt I’ll have much trouble sleeping. I want to stay away from the sleeping pill thing if possible. If I take one, my husband will have to wheel me to the car on a dolly Thursday morning. They work really, really well on me. I’ll have plenty of time to enjoy my purple haze after the surgery. Of course, I have to be back at work on Monday. I’ll be on light duty, but I’m fairly indispensable and the place might fall apart if I’m not there. Hooray for uber-competence!

Fortunately, I’m not with the Cthulhu HMO anymore. I’m glad because ew, fishsticks.

Only ever been put under once, when I was 6 I had my tonsils removed. I agree with the OP tho, the surgery never sounds bad until you read the paper work they make you sign!

I had to have a CT scan a few years ago, and I had to sign this bright red piece of paper that said some people die suddenly when given the contrast dye, but that my doctor has taken that into account and wouldnt recommend this if it would hurt me. I remember thinking, yea, if my doctor is a good doctor!!! I was freaking out that day!!

Nope, Canadian Health Care. No wonder it’s the envy of the Western world! Fishsticks for everyone!!

But it’s free, right? Free fishsticks are looking better and better. My hospital had its kneecap breakers call me a couple of days ago asking for my deductible up front. I just paid $500 for surgery I haven’t even had yet.

And they’re the good fishsticks. Halibut and everything.

I can’t believe you had to pay your deductible up front. That seems so … mercenary. Make sure you get your $500 worth when you get in there. I’ll email you the address to send my scrubs to.

The good thing with your surgery is they aren’t slicing up/removing any organs, so it’s not too major. I had my gallbladded out and lived to tell the tale, so you’ll be just fine…no worries.

Although my surgery was of a different nature than yours, here’s some tips to help you with your recovery:

-If you get nauseous easily or hate vomiting (like I do), request that they put Gravol in the I.V. bag that will go with you into your surgery. I did and it helped a lot.

-If you have a lot of pain afterwards, see if they’ll give you a shot of Demerol instead of Morphine. Anyone I knew who ever got morphine after surgery got very sick to their stomach. I was given Demerol and I felt great.

Good luck!