Surgery with local only. Any suggestions?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4907
   Posted 5/26/2010 1:23 PM (GMT -7)   
It's not fun having fibro when you need surgery.  I'm having trigger finger surgery tomorrow afternoon on three fingers with only local anesthesia.  I refused Versed because it's only an amnesic, doesn't do anything for pain.  I'm allowed to take diazepam and vicodin beforehand for pain and muscle relaxing for fibro and post-polio.  I hope that's enough!
I had three bad experiences last year with anesthesia, so I'm anxious.  I had a bad fibro-flare after first op (lumpectomy), didn't know to take pre-meds.  Second op I wasn't put out until after torturous dye injections in breast, woke up while being stitched, afraid to scream because I didn't want to sleep any longer. Then I wasn't allowed any pain meds in recovery and cried for hours.  Third time was not charming either: couldn't push pain pump button myself, lost three days memory from an amnesic sedative.  So now I'm terrified of any sort of anesthesia, and am a nuissance, I'm sure.
What should I expect from pain during surgery and immediately post-op?  If they can't find a non-preserved vial of a long-acting local anesthetic, I may only get the short-acting one.  I have lots of allergies, mostly to sulfite preservatives, and Demerol which has sulfite in the drug.  I can't take codeine at all, Fentanyl and Percocet make me nauseous unless I get Zofran.
Any hints you may have will be appreciated by me and the OR staff.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 5/26/2010 1:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Why aren't they offering the option of an ancillary block for the surgery? I had that when I had wrist surgery. They do a nerve block thru your armpit, which totally numbs your arm, they give you meds that make you woosey but not out and they do the surgery. I had no pain during surgery and very little afterwards.

solar powered
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 538
   Posted 5/26/2010 3:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I had foot surgery last summer without a general anesthetic, just a local. I was given visteral to put me out though. I did wake up while he was suturing my foot but because I had a local it didn't hurt at all. The worse part was when the local started to wear off a few hours after the end of surgery and then it was very painful. It felt like when you fall asleep on your arm and it starts to "wake" back up but way more intense. Once that passed things went well. I had no pain meds to take, only celebrex for inflammation. It sounds like you are anxious about the surgery so please do take what you can and the surgeon will allow beforehand. I wish you well with your surgery.

If I can laugh at it, I can live with it.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4907
   Posted 5/26/2010 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I asked about a block, but my surgeon doesn't do them. His only option for "woozy" is Versed, which has nothing to do with pain, just makes you forget you had any. I don't mind relaxing, but have had enough amnesia. I'm allowed to take diazepam, which is a great muscle relaxant. I take it for back spasms occasionally. I'll take Vicodin to prevent any pain because it will keep me from having a fibro-flare.

Lisa -
I had a bad reaction once to Vistaril, gave me pain for 6 months. I can't take NSAIDS because they upset my stomach, other OTCs don't work. I am sensitive to codeine, need antiemetic with Percocet or Fentanyl. I take Neurontin for fibro, spinal injections for sciatica, spine problems, knee pain, ... Tramadol only works on the fibro muscle pain. I have 3 disconnected "slipping" ribs treated with nerve blocks that just wore off, and my sciatica injections chose this week to wear off also.

I can't see any reason for MAC or general for 30 minutes or less of minor surgery. I'm just not sure how well a local works in this instance. I'm glad to hear it worked well for you, Lisa. I'm not afraid of pain, just want to know the truth about what to expect. Will I be able to go grocery shopping Friday? I have sons and wives coming for the weekend.

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