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SURGERY


Kimbo
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I have a what the doctors think is a hernia in my abdomen and if not it could be a mass that needs to be removed. I am scheduled for Thurs. to have this done. The doctor was a little concerned about my blood pressure being low. Is this not a good thing to do under general anesthesia and having POTS? Has anyone had surgery with this? I'm a little nervous about it but I need to get rid of this pain I'm having with this.

thanks for any advice....

Kimbo

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I know that some POTS patients do experience problems with anesthesia and BP/HR, but others are fine. I know that Nina (MightyMouse) has had several surgeries and hopefully she can give you some more intelligent information than myself...but I just wanted to say that I understand your nervousness!! I was terrified when I was pregnant, of having an epidural anesthetic, and then a few months ago I had to go through some dental work- but both times, I was able to go without the meds and just deal with the pain, which was more worth it to me than being so sick with POTS (but obviously in more severe cases that is not an option).

I experienced sudden onset of POTS after the summer 2001, when I went through TWO surgical procedures- so I've often blamed those surgeries on my symptoms- but that certainly hasn't been proven....just be sure to dicuss all your concerns with doctors and be sure that they fully understand your condition....I hope you get some good info, and good luck!!

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You must weigh surgical risk in conjunction with your doctor. Use common sense pro's and con's as well. For example, if it is a mass in your abdomen, the likelihood of it being cancer left untreated is pretty devastating--moreso than the risk of surgery with POTS.

Yes, I've been under general anesthesia at least 10 times... during most of my prodecures, I was prepared with an arterial line in addition to an IV. This way, if I had an unexpected loss of pressure, they could bolster my bp quickly with blood volume.

I was cleared prior to surgery by Dr. Grubb. His suggestion to my surgeons was this: just do careful monitoring and handle me as they would any cardiac patient. My biggest risk that is different from the general population is a sudden drop in bp or heart rate, or vice versa. And, in comparisson to my risk of a severe allergic reaction to medication, my risk from POTS has been quite small.

Bottom line is to decide if the need for surgery to protect your health outweighs the surgical risks. Actually, most docs wouldn't recommend surgery unless they believed this to be the case for you.

Nina ;)

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I've had surgery to remove an ovarian tumor. The docs were aware of POTS and gave me plenty of extra fluids and also an arterial line. At one point I did go into bradycardia when I was under, but they countered it with atropine and I was fine. Make sure they are aware of your situation. There are some links here under anaesthesia that might be helpful for your doctors.

Wishing you the best,

Michelle

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Hey there Timbo. I've had that procedure--I had a lipoma removed from my shoulder-blade area about 15 years ago. I had no problems with the local---and the procedure was a breeze. I suppose if your lipoma is large, it might be a bit more of an ordeal.

Sadly, mine grew back and I now have to have it done AGAIN. The darned thing sits right where my bra strap goes and it's constantly feeling like I have a bruise on my back. I've procrastinated at getting it done; I got the referral for the surgical consult well over a year ago and still haven't made the appointment.

Let me know how it goes for you.

Nina, aka *Procastination Queen* :D

Edited by MightyMouse
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An arterial line is like an IV, but in an artery. It's a bit invasive in that it involves a pretty decent sized needle in your arm and a special, pressurized bag that keeps the blood going in as opposed to out.

They gave me a whole bunch of lidocaine to minimize the pain I had while putting it in... I know this much after having this done several times. I have a major nerve that runs next to or on the artery they like to use in the right arm--and every time they tried that spot, it REALLY hurt. All the others were done on my left arm, which was MUCH more comfortable for me. Everyone is a little different w/ regard to their anatomy.

For many folks, it's no more uncomfortable than an IV. Also, mine was already removed when I woke up in recovery, so I really wasn't awke for the discomfort except during my participation at the NIH when I was FULLY awake for both times that I had the line in.

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