Epidural vs. Dilaudid after general surgery

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by PharmGirlJ, 05.20.14.

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  1. PharmGirlJ

    PharmGirlJ 2+ Year Member

    Hello there,

    I would like to ask for some advice from experienced anesthesiologists and this is probably the best place to do so. Just to be clear, I am not asking to make a decision for me and I already consulted the surgeon and anesthesiologist. I am only asking to share your experience with your own patients who underwent either one of these procedures.

    I am 25 y.o. and I will have a general surgery next week (distal pancreactomy and possibly splenectomy). The incision will be approximately 5-6 inches long. For pain management after surgery my doctor gave me two options - epidural or dilaudid with patient controlled pump. He was strongly suggesting the epidural, but I am just terrified of the idea of a needle and then catheter in my spine. My biggest fear is paralysis (I know it is very rare, but it happens). I also heard that after epidural many women who gave birth started getting pain in their back from time to time as a side effect. The doctor told me that I will be able to walk with it and that it will only numb by abdomen, so I can be mobile straight after surgery. He also said that people who got it recovered faster and didn't experience as much pain as patients on regular narcotic pain killers.

    In your practice, how often do you do epidurals after general surgery? Is thoracic epidural more risky/harder to perform than lumbar? How was the pain of those who decided to go with deluided? In terms of pain and recovery, which option is more favorable by anesthesiologists nowadays?

    I must say that it will be my first surgery ever, I've never been pregnant and I do have a low pain tolerance.

    Thanks to everyone who took time to read and answer.
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  3. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they? SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    Sorry, SDN is not the place to get 2nd opinions or medical advice. Your anesthesiologist should be able to address all of your concerns in detail. Good luck with your surgery and recovery.


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