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Old 01-17-2010, 11:31 PM   #1
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Please HELP... scared of recommended anesthesia for laser ablation.

Hi. First off here's a little of my history...I had a cone biopsy done about two years ago due to pre-cancerous cells of the cervix. Now I've just recently had some dysplasia appear on the outside of my labia and the inside of my vaginal canal which they had put off treating due to the fact that I was pregnant. Now my bundle of joy is here, and they're ready to laser these abnormalities off, and they're telling me I have to be put under general anesthesia during this procedure.

I ABSOLUTELY hate being put under (I actually have a phobia of being put under), and wish to avoid it if at all possible. The doctor said I wouldn't want to be awake for the procedure and gave me an example of "Imagine if I took a cigarette and burned your bottom with it a bunch of times...and second degree burns..." Yadda yadda.

Okay so it's going to hurt... I just don't understand why they can't use a regional anesthetic, or some kind of anesthetic that allows me to be awake during the procedure. Everything I've read about laser ablation (which is what I'm assuming I'm having because the word "Laser" was involved, but not the ablation) has said that it doesn't usually require general anesthesia, and is sometimes done in-office. (I'm having it done in the O.R./operating room)

Has anyone had laser ablation as a treatment for dysplasia on the outside of your vagina, and/or the inside of your vaginal canal, here? If so, and you don't mind sharing, what was your treatment like? Did you get to be awake during the procedure at all? Do you agree that being put under general anesthesia would be the best way to go? Also, do I have no choice as far as anesthesia options are concerned?

Thanks for your time and answers here. As you all can tell I'm a little silly, and overly anxious/a big baby about general anesthesia whereas most are saying "Knock me out!" due to the pain that's supposedly involved. Any response would be greatly appreciated as I've worked myself into a frenzy awaiting this upcoming procedure, as I also did before I went under general anesthesia for the cone biopsy. I'm sure this minor procedure, and complaining about general anesthesia is nothing compared to what some of you ladies have been through, and are having to go through, and I send out best wishes for all of you in hopes that you all triumph over whatever it is that you may be facing.

-Autumn84

Last edited by Autumn84; 01-18-2010 at 02:36 AM.

 
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:30 PM   #2
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Re: Please HELP... scared of recommended anesthesia for laser ablation.

Autumn

I can totally understand your not wanting to go under!

Have you talked to your doctor about giving giving you a spinal block (basically an epidural)? When I went in for a CKC, the doctor said the anesthesiologist would either put me under or do the spinal block. The idea of being awake totally freaks me out, so I told the guy to please put me to sleep. But I don't see why they couldn't do the spinal block with you. You'd be numb below the waist so you wouldn't be in pain.

You definitely have a choice as to anesthesia.

 
Old 01-18-2010, 04:37 PM   #3
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Re: Please HELP... scared of recommended anesthesia for laser ablation.

What specific procedures is your doctor anticipating? It sounds like it is more extensive than something like a LEEP. One major problem that I've heard about laser procedures is the smell of the burning flesh. It is vile. I wouldn't want to be awake for that.

Lily's advice is very good, too.

 
Old 01-19-2010, 08:06 AM   #4
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Re: Please HELP... scared of recommended anesthesia for laser ablation.

What about IV sedation? I'm not a dr, so you'd have to check with yours of course, but that might be a possibility. I had IV sedation for my CKC and I didn't feel *a thing* until about 24 hours later (some cramps the next day). I think I was out for about 30-45 mins? Can't remember. It was fantastic - I didn't hear or smell anything or see anything - it's like a short nap. When I woke up my head was clear and I didn't feel queasy or anything. I went home and had some cereal and then went to bed (my CKC was at 7 pm so I got home around 10).

One thing I have noticed is that each dr has their own preferences and they tend to stick with them. So it might take you insisting on something else to get it - then again, I do agree with pickle eyes - there may be a very good reason why they are suggesting general anesthesia!

 
Old 01-19-2010, 11:04 AM   #5
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Re: Please HELP... scared of recommended anesthesia for laser ablation.

Autumn, I hear you about healthcare phobias. It is so hard when you are stressed out about something related to your health.

I want to throw a few things out there for you to think about. First, it does seem that laser is the perfect procedure for your issue, from everything I've read. Second, laser procedures require some different precautions than standard LEEP/CKC procedures. There are eye protection issues, and I believe they do wet draping all over your body just in case something would go awry with the laser placement. (I know these things from doing medical transcription of these procedures).

However, if you truly do not want general anesthesia and it is scaring you, I believe a good step would be to request a consultation with an anesthesiologist at the facility where you'll be doing the treatment. Let them explain the rationale for having general anesthesia, then ask if regional would be a better option. They do use sedation along with regional for some procedures so you aren't fully aware of what's going on but you aren't "out" either. They can use Versed (midazolam) - it doesn't normally completely knock you out but you don't remember the unpleasant details either, that may be an option for you.

I just had general anesthesia yesterday for my CKC/D&C/TVT-O/tubal ligation. I'm not a fan of it either, but everything went as smoothly as it could, I just have a nasty sore throat and laryngitis from the intubation today.

 
Old 01-19-2010, 11:14 PM   #6
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Re: Please HELP... scared of recommended anesthesia for laser ablation.

Thanks so much Lily, Pickle, France, and Karen for your responses to my questions.

Lily- Hearing that I do have options as far as anesthesia is concerned makes me feel better, because some doctors make you feel like there is only one way a certain thing can be done. I'm not usually aggressive with doctors, and pretty much do whatever it is they tell me to, but this time I'm pretty adamant about how I'd like this done, and that is not going under if there is any way around it.

Pickle- I'm not really sure that the doctor is anticipating anything other than what he told me he was going to do, but you know how they like to hurry you along sometimes during your appointments. (Another reason I should be more aggressive, so that I can get in all the questions I have. Then again, sometimes I'm so overwhelmed with all of the information they give, I forget to ask about the most important things.)

France- You're right about doctors having their own preferences and insisting upon them. It may be that this particular doctor of mine only feels comfortable doing this procedure while I'm under general anesthesia. In which case, I'm up the creek without a paddle. Which would kind of stink.

Karen- So glad to hear that all went well with your procedures. Sorry to hear about the aftermath of the general anesthesia. (Just some more of my complaints about general.) Also, it sounds like this laser procedure is very detailed as far as the precautions they take is concerned. It also sounds like those precautions they take might scare some people, and if that is what the doctor is planning for me, maybe that is why he's insisting on me being under.

Anyway Ladies, I suppose it boils down to me getting in there, and asking some questions and quick. My surgery is scheduled one week from today. Also, I suppose it depends on what my doctor is comfortable with as well, and the all important question of just what exactly it is that I will be going through. Thanks SO much for all of your advice, I'll let you all know how it goes.

 
Old 01-20-2010, 05:48 PM   #7
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Re: Please HELP... scared of recommended anesthesia for laser ablation.

Autumn, when I have a doctor's appointment I go in with a written list of questions for my doctor. Often, the doctor will look the list over before starting because they can answer several questions at one time. Otherwise, the doctor gets an idea of how detailed of a reply you are seeing (do you want the basics or full-on medical terms). I use my written list of questions to write my answers on so that I won't forget the answers later on.

You might want to do the same.

Good luck and let us know how things go!

 
Old 01-21-2010, 04:57 PM   #8
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Re: Please HELP... scared of recommended anesthesia for laser ablation.

Hi ! I had a laser ablation but on my cervix and yes i was put under general !
I didn´t want also but they told me they need to..., i was so scared i will die in the time of surgery because of the anestezy ...i have a phobia about general anestezy too..!
Anyway was better then i expected, i wakeup very good, no adverse reaction and in a strange way i feelt i have a lot of energy !


Good luck and wish you the best !

 
Old 01-21-2010, 09:36 PM   #9
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Re: Please HELP... scared of recommended anesthesia for laser ablation.

So I spoke with my doctor's nurse today, and she told me the doctor would be fine with me getting an epidural as long as the anesthesiologist didn't care. So we're set right?

I'm getting general anesthesia (yes, you are reading that correctly. ) I thought about it, and obviously it makes more sense in the minor procedure they'll be performing on me, and the fact that it's only a 45 min surgery. Have an IV in the arm or one in the spine? Hmm... Guess I'll go with the "duh" answer. I'll save the epidural for the next kid I suppose. I'm still not happy about it, but uh I'll probably live. Haha.

 
Old 01-22-2010, 07:20 PM   #10
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Re: Please HELP... scared of recommended anesthesia for laser ablation.

I'm glad you were able to come to peace with a decision. I even work for a hospital, and all of this medical stuff gives me the creeps frankly when it's being done to ME.

I also wanted to comment that sometimes an epidural doesn't "take," and then you'd be stuck with a different anesthesia route. When I had an epidural, it only partially numbed (which was OK because it was for my first labor). That obviously would NOT be OK for a surgery.

I just had general anesthesia last Monday. You should have a short preop consult with an anesthesiologist or CRNA. Tell them you are nervous and they can premedicate you in the preop holding area to be relaxed and more comfortable. Before you know it, it will be all over. Bring along some throat lozenges in case your throat is a bit sore afterward.

Heck, I hardly felt the IV. At this hospital, they used a tiny little needle to numb the hand first, and the IV just glided on in! It is amazing how many cool things are done in medicine these days.

Also, if you feel queasy post-anesthesia, tell someone right away. They have anti-nausea meds to stop that in its tracks so you don't end up with full-blown vomiting. Tell the anesthesiologist if you tend to get motion sickness, that predisposes you to postop nausea and vomiting apparently.

 
Old 01-23-2010, 09:25 AM   #11
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Re: Please HELP... scared of recommended anesthesia for laser ablation.

Thanks Karen. It definately is another story when all these medical things are happening to you. It's nice to be able to come to these boards and vent, because my husband and family are so sick of listening to me moan and groan about this surgery.

I have a 2 month old (my very first child, which I didn't think I was going to be able to have kids after my cone biopsy surgery a couple of years ago), and that is probably why I have more anxiety about this particular surgery. The reality of being a parent, and the normal worries of "Gosh, I don't want to miss a thing in my child's life." has set in. I lost my mom to uterine cancer when I was 18, so maybe that will help you all in understanding my worries and anxiety, and the reason why I'm turning such a minor thing into such a big thing, but yes I am at peace with the general anesthesia now, but I have another problem. My surgery is in 2 and 1/2 days and I started my period, I seriously hope that doesn't stop them from doing my procedure. I really don't want to wait any longer.

Also to Gina thanks for replying you've helped in easing my mind as well.

 
Old 01-23-2010, 01:31 PM   #12
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Re: Please HELP... scared of recommended anesthesia for laser ablation.

I'm sad to hear your lost your mother at such an early age. I'm also thrilled you were able to have your precious baby after having had a cone!

When it comes to your period, I think they can go ahead and do it. They did my CKC when my period was just starting and they did my hyst when I was in the middle of my period. No problems.

((((((hugs))))))))

 
Old 01-23-2010, 04:26 PM   #13
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Re: Please HELP... scared of recommended anesthesia for laser ablation.

Don't sweat the period - the stress of waiting for the procedure was making mine come when it wasn't due, and they assured me that they would do it anyhow, no problem.

 
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