Anesthesia & Memory Loss

Over time I have heard many women say they can’t think straight anymore after their surgery and there could be more than one reason for it. Many feel it could be from biofilms in the mesh, but as yet, although the biofilms from mesh are under examination and study, proving the biofilm theory takes time and I know Dr. Raz is working on it because he does more removal surgeries than anyone else and has the most skill. So before you decide it could be one problem, other things can be a factor. The first thing to do is to find a surgeon who is extremely well trained in removal techniques so that you are not under anesthesia for far too many hours. I know this can make a HUGE difference in aftercare as well as how much damage is done at the time of your removal surgery. A good surgeon may keep going to get the mesh out, but a great surgeon will know when it is time to stop, especially if your surgery is very complicated. That may mean you have to go back for another. However if your surgeon is highly skilled most mesh can be removed in one surgery. This is why I constantly write telling women to know what is in you and learn more about your particular type of implant, including how it was put inside you.

For well over two years before I had my own removal surgery, I didn’t waste time. I began talking to women all over the country to learn about removal doctors. During the process I learned a great deal about the other things no one talks about on support groups. “How long was your surgery?” I didn’t realize how important it was until these things came out while I began chatting to other women. I learned that many had surgeries that went on for up to eleven hours. Yes that is a lot of hours to be under a serious drug induced sleep. Not only that but I also learned most of these surgeries did not result in good outcomes. One woman I particularly remember apologized to me because she had been diagnosed with brain damaged due to anesthesia and she knew she couldn’t concentrate and when she spoke and she was all over the map and could not stay on course with any subject.

There are many things that can cause confusion after these surgeries so don’t just assume you have damage from anesthesia drugs. Things like high or low blood pressure and a serious urinary tract infection are just two of these things that can give the same results. In fact one of the dogs we had in our dog rescue came from woman who couldn’t care for her anymore and when I spoke to the daughter who brought the dog to us, I learned she had mesh and she had such a serious urinary tract infection she acted like she had dementia.

Clearing infections can be very difficult due to mesh complications, both before and after surgery so the best way is to have a really good personal doctor who will run a culture to check what is going on, instead of doing a simple dip stick test in the office. This is because some bacteria’s do not show up in urine but a culture will grow the bacteria so that you can take the right antibiotic to kill the infection. I have written about this more than once because this is so important. The blogs are all here for you to read.

Because infections can cause this, I researched and found a story of a woman who found her mother was quite confused and this is one paragraph.

Then the words of the experienced paramedic who had sat beside her on the drive to hospital came back to me.

“I think this is a urinary tract infection (UTI), ” he explained. “I had one a few years ago and was so confused I didn’t know the year or the name of the prime minister.”

On arriving at the hospital, my mother had been asked for a urine sample. A few days later she was tested again and this time a UTI was picked up. Antibiotics were immediately prescribed. You can read the rest of the story for yourself

IF it is a serious bladder infection, treatment will resolve the thinking process. But if many months after surgery you still have a problem but nothing has been found, then it is time to look at other things. I know someone who is dealing with this and because I want to help her, I began reading about it and anesthesia is one of them. Here is an example of what I found in this article.

Some people tell of relatives who were “never the same since the last operation”. Yet other people tell of personal experiences of reduced ability to concentrate, reduced attention span, and of memory problems after undergoing an operation. These changes are sometimes severe enough to alter the personality of the affected person, or to interfere with their ability to perform normal activities. These changes may even be so severe that some elderly people actually become demented after undergoing an operation. Such postoperative alterations in mental function have been described, discussed, and studied since 1955. Unfortunately, many of the complaints suffered by those reporting mental changes after undergoing an operation under anesthesia are frustratingly difficult to measure objectively.

All these changes in mental function occurring after an operation actually affect the process of cognition, which is why they are bundled under the term POCD (Postoperative Cognitive Disorder). Cognition is defined as the mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment. Typical complaints of those people reporting POCD are:

  • Easily tired.
  • Inability to concentrate. For example, they cannot concentrate sufficiently to read a book or newspaper.
  • Memory dysfunction. For example, they have a reduced ability to remember things recently said or done.
  • Reduced ability to perform arithmetic. For example, they make mistakes with normal money transactions while shopping.

An enormous amount of effort has been invested in studying this problem. The final view of this research is that POCD is a real problem affecting a significant proportion of people after undergoing an operation.

So first I began researching into types of these drugs and was quite shocked. I had no clue how many there were but this will give you an idea and you can go direct to the link by clicking on any one of them and read reviews.

Anaspaz (Pro, More…)
generic name: hyoscyamine class: anticholinergics/antispasmodics

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Anectine (Pro, More…)
generic name: succinylcholine
class: neuromuscular blocking agents

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Bactine (More…)
generic name: lidocaine class: topical anesthetics

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Diprivan (Pro, More…)
generic name: propofol class: general anesthetics

17 reviews

     

9.3

Emla (Pro, More…)
generic name: lidocaine/prilocaine class: topical anesthetics

2 reviews

     

9.7

HyoMax (Pro, More…)
generic name: hyoscyamine class: anticholinergics/antispasmodics

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Levbid (More…)
generic name: hyoscyamine class: anticholinergics/antispasmodics

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Levsin (Pro, More…)
generic name: hyoscyamine class: anticholinergics/antispasmodics

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Levsin SL (Pro, More…)
generic name: hyoscyamine class: anticholinergics/antispasmodics

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Lidocaine Viscous (More…)
generic name: lidocaine class: topical anesthetics

0 reviews

     

6.0

Lidoderm (More…)
generic name: lidocaine class: topical anesthetics

1 review

     

9.0

Nubain (Pro, More…)
generic name: nalbuphine class: narcotic analgesics

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Orabase (More…)
generic name: benzocaine class: topical anesthetics

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Pentothal (Pro, More…)
generic name: thiopental class: general anesthetics

2 reviews

     

7.7

Robinul (Pro, More…)
generic name: glycopyrrolate class: anticholinergics/antispasmodics

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Stadol (Pro, More…)
generic name: butorphanol class: narcotic analgesics

0 reviews

     

10

Sublimaze (Pro, More…)
generic name: fentanyl class: narcotic analgesics

1 review

     

1.0

Talwin (More…)
generic name: pentazocine class: narcotic analgesics

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Xylocaine Jelly (Pro, More…)
generic name: lidocaine class: topical anesthetics

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Xylocaine Topical (More…)
generic name: lidocaine class: topical anesthetics

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You never realize what you can learn when you speak to so many women who explain what has happened to them. So you may wonder which drug was used on you and about your own after affects. If you had problems get your operative report and read up what was used before you assume or doing anything else. Then read the reviews and do more research on that particular drug. Then take what you have found and go direct to a doctor who will listen to you about what you suspect.

I also found on this site the following links and topic conversation.

Topics under Anesthesia

Once you understand what drug was used on you and you have evaluated your situation, make sure when you have another surgery that the surgeon and anesthetist understand what has happened in the past and they will not use the same drug and will monitor you closely. DON’T wait until just before surgery. Do it much sooner and have a phone conversations with the anesthetist several days before your surgery date and make sure that person understands and knows your wishes. This is important because there is a possibility you had a bad reaction to a particular drug or you were under too long.

You may wonder now, how long is too long? So of course I asked the same question and found the question and the answer.
“I am considering revision rhinoplasty and a facelift. The surgeon is a board certified facial plastic surgeon with excellent reputation. I am concerned about the length of the surgery. This will be done in a hospital. I am healthy, a non-smoker, and 46 years old.”

“Nine hours is a long time, but we do it all the time for total makeovers. However, if you do have anesthesia for this long, certain precautions must be taken. You should be put to sleep only by a board certified anesthesiologist and you should plan to spend the night in the hospital. You should also have a clearance from your family doctor to make sure you are as healthy as you think. Additionally, you should make sure that the OR staff does everything to make sure you have no problems, such as warming you, using compressions leggings, and using gel padding and moving your pressure points frequently.”
You can read more here

So what can you do to help improve your memory? Well I for one believe the biggest thing to help regardless of why you have memory loss is to keep the brain working. I personally do just that because my brain and eyes no longer work together the same way they are supposed to due to Ototoxicity from a high dose of Gentamicin antibiotic giving to me via I.V, two years ago. It has left me with permanent damage where I am constantly dizzy. So ever since I found out what has caused my problems, I began making small things to keep my mind and eyes working to get used to it. I also write a great deal which means I have to think a lot, do research, read and think even more, which is always a good thing.

I also do believe in taking supplements and eating a balanced diet and of course there are many supplements on the market that claim to improve memory. So I hunted and found an excellent site for you to read that tells about each ingredient used in these supplements.

More importantly there are things your body needs especially after surgery, when your immune system is down and as we all age. B-12 is one of them and I have already written a blog about it.

 

 

 

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