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Old 08-02-2018, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
5,843 posts, read 8,423,141 times
Reputation: 10702

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I will never have general anesthesia again because of my father's case. He was very much "with it". He drove my Mom around, played Bingo and called the numbers, loved crossword puzzles and read the newspaper. That all ended when he had kidney surgery at the local hospital. He came out a different person. I tried to get the medical records with no success. He acted like he had full-blown dementia, at age 73. The doctor said it was probably a "mini stroke" during surgery. After two years of trying to care for him at home, he was admitted to the VA Hospital where he died at age 75. The care nearly put my Mom into an early grave. It was so difficult to "watch " him every minute because he was out of his mind. A very very sad time for all.

I have had several surgeries for breast cancer, hip replacement, etc and always have an epidural only.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:37 PM
 
Location: NYer in VA
31 posts, read 16,641 times
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My mom was diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia in June 2013. In November 2017, after numerous falls, she fell again and fractured both hip bones. I researched possible treatments and was also informed about the possibility of the anesthesia making her dementia worse. However, she was living in an ALF and didn't have anyone that could monitor her every second of the day. My concern was that she would forget that her hips were fractured and try to get up and ultimately fall again. So, as her POA, I opted for the surgery. She did well in rehab after the surgery but was not quite back to her baseline. Even though she was able to get up and walk with assistance, she seemed to refuse to. She remained wheelchair bound and started to decline rapidly a few months later. She passed away five weeks ago today.
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:47 PM
 
238 posts, read 683,814 times
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Research is pointing that way. There is also some evidence that if an infant has three or more general anesthetics before the age of two there is a high correlation to learning difficulties when they get older. Not enough to prove it but enough that now doctors try to avoid doing elective surgery on kids under two. Such as tonsils, ear tubes, dental cleaning, etc. If you want to help your kid, get him circumcised at birth so they do not have to do it later, take care of your kids teeth so they do not have to do a general anesthetic for a deep cleaning. Pay attention to head colds. Now, as far as older people, there does seem to be some correlation between the length of the anesthesia vs what it is for. The impact here is you do not want a surgery that people describe as "meticulous." That is the code word for slow. You do not want a slow surgeon. If the average time for a total hip is two hours total and you have a surgeon who takes three hours you might want to look elsewhere.
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Old 08-23-2018, 06:52 AM
 
Location: God's Country
4,645 posts, read 3,016,696 times
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Often wonder whether the multiple surgeries my wife underwent during her life contributed to that poor soul's devastating non-Alzheimer's fronto-temporal dementia. No family history of the disease and she was sharp as a tack before onset of symptoms.
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:30 AM
 
5,496 posts, read 3,352,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlamQueen View Post
My mom was diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia in June 2013. In November 2017, after numerous falls, she fell again and fractured both hip bones. I researched possible treatments and was also informed about the possibility of the anesthesia making her dementia worse. However, she was living in an ALF and didn't have anyone that could monitor her every second of the day. My concern was that she would forget that her hips were fractured and try to get up and ultimately fall again. So, as her POA, I opted for the surgery. She did well in rehab after the surgery but was not quite back to her baseline. Even though she was able to get up and walk with assistance, she seemed to refuse to. She remained wheelchair bound and started to decline rapidly a few months later. She passed away five weeks ago today.
I'm sorry for your loss. My mom also had Lewy Body Dementia. She was diagnosed in 1993 and died in 2001. It seems to be a disease that progresses by "steps"...she would function at a certain level for a while, then take a big step down, and stay at that level for more months, before another drop... Eventually she was bedridden, and finally died. She never had any surgery for what it is worth.

My grandmother, on the other hand, lived to 97 and did not have dementia, just the short term memory loss that many old people get. She walked with a walker, slowly, but she didn't really go anywhere or do anything (she lived with us). Then she fell and broke a hip, and had surgery. She seemed mentally the same after the surgery as before, but was not at all interested in getting up out of bed and walking. She also lost her appetite. After about a month in bed, only eating a bite here and there, she died. I have heard this kind of story many times. I don't know if it's the surgery itself, or if, as I suspect, the effort of recovering from a broken bone and starting to walk again is too much for a very old person (or a sick person, such as your mom). They just no longer have the will to do it and it takes too much of what is left of their strength. Our bodies don't last forever and enough is enough.
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:00 AM
 
18,756 posts, read 6,119,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvert Hall '62 View Post
Often wonder whether the multiple surgeries my wife underwent during her life contributed to that poor soul's devastating non-Alzheimer's fronto-temporal dementia. No family history of the disease and she was sharp as a tack before onset of symptoms.
We'll never know but we do think about what may have been if things went the other way etc. I think about that for some in my life who died of cancer and had they taken what I suggested years back, would they still be with us. We'll never know.
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,861 posts, read 32,642,286 times
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My mom has vascular dementia. It took a marked turn for the worse after she broke her hip and had surgery - in fact, she had to be involuntarily committed after that surgery. She has declined rapidly from that point on.

Anyway, last week she fell and shattered her upper arm and shoulder. If she didn't have severe dementia, she would get a complete shoulder replacement. However, a team of four doctors met with me and we opted for no surgery, mainly for two reasons:

1) Mom cannot tolerate general anesthesia at this point.

2) Mom cannot understand or comply with rehab, which would be critical to the success of a shoulder replacement.

So unfortunately, she is now under hospice care and her arm will heal haphazardly if at all. But as sad a choice as this all was, I agree with the doctors. After her last round of general anesthesia and surgery, I won't force her to go through that again at this stage in her life.
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:02 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,525 posts, read 42,694,765 times
Reputation: 57174
I donít know about dementia, but when my husband had lung surgery, many years ago, he was not himself for a long time afterwards. I really thought he might be going nuts at times. Thankfully, he eventually got his old self back.
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:09 PM
 
2,380 posts, read 6,073,907 times
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I am 85,has open heart at 76,carotid at 84 with no problems,my wife 82 no surgery,severe short term memory.She had problems with Lipitor a long time ago,and new primary care talked her into statins 3-4 years ago,complains about hip and leg aches and have asked her to stop for 6 months but won't.
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