PDA

View Full Version : Can general anesthesia affect your vision?



debbei
05-29-2008, 08:42 AM
http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7376

I know so many thing can be affected, for example your hair. It has been over a year since my last eye exam and I thought maybe I'd go get new glasses/contacts. But the it occurred to me that maybe if I do so now, after the surgery, there might be a change? And maybe I should just stick with my ugly glasses through the time of surgery.

I was searching around the internet on this thought and I didn't find anything exactly like that, but I did find this article, which is kind of disturbing.

http://www.thedoctors.com/KnowledgeCenter/PatientSafety/Alerts/CON_ID_000164

I've never heard of this "Controlled Hypotension" thing before, but I'm thinking it helps minimize bleeding? Seems like this is used in fusion surgeries.

I'd appreciate any info, and I'll definitely put it on my list to ask the Dr's.

Another goofy question--who holds onto your glasses? Your spouse/family? I'm not exactly blind as a bat, but I'm sure happier when my glasses are on so I can see.

Thanks,

loves to skate
05-29-2008, 09:05 AM
Hi Debbei,
Just one more thing I am glad I didn't know about before my surgery, and I was in surgery for 12 hours :( . You definitely need to check this out with your Dr. Your glasses will be kept with your clothes and given to a family member. You probably won't even want to wear them the first couple of days after surgery. Sally

Susie*Bee
05-29-2008, 09:49 AM
Debbe-- I, too, am glad I didn't know about this prior to my surgery. Yes, ask your doctor and then let us know what he says...

About the glasses-- I AM "blind as a bat" without mine-- they're the last things off when i go to bed and first things on when I get up. I made sure to take a hard/protective glasses case so that they wouldn't get broken when I didn't have them on... and they went into the bag of clothes right at the very end of my prep. My sweet hubby must have explained how I depended on them, because when I first "came to" I was wearing them! :D I kept them on all the time after that. I may not have cared about teeth brushing and hair, but I always like to see what's going on... (and when I say "blind as a bat"-- I mean, not only can I not see the big E on an eye chart, the whole thing gets blended into the wall...) :eek:

CStadler
05-29-2008, 09:54 AM
I had blurred, double vision for a couple of months. It eventually cleared up.

txmarinemom
05-29-2008, 10:04 AM
Debbei,

This site is a medical malpractice insurer, Debbe ... they are totally CYA stories.

Did you notice the "example patients" are obese - one GROSSLY (5'4" and 214 lbs??) - in the two cases provided? Are complications in that scenario the doctors fault, or the fact the patient was completely unhealthy?

I will say this ... I've been under general anesthesia MULTIPLE times:

2 brain surgeries for hydrocephalus (VP shunt placement)
3 knee surgeries
1 oral surgery (impacted wisdom teeth)
1 ankle reconstruction
1 tubal ligation
1 laproscopic surgery
1 fusion surgery
2 surgeries to remove bone spurs on heels
1 breast augmentation

(I feel like I need to add "... and a partridge in a pear treeeeeeee ...!)

So what's that? 13?

I'm sure I'm forgetting something - or a few somethings - but I've been knocked out with at LEAST 13 generals that quickly come to mind, and several others that *were* technically "twilights" where I was intubated (not REALLY "twilights").

Anyway, I've never experienced permanent vision changes, and only even experienced TEMPORARY issues before/after my VP shunt placement. My intracranial pressure shot to 54 - about 5x normal for an extended period (about a month). I had total 6th cranial nerve palsy (yep ... my eyes were crossed for 6 months), and I had near total bilateral retinal hemorrhages.

I survived that (a fairly large miracle)- and maintained 20/20 vision. Please don't add vision degradation to your list of worries.

Positive thought, positive thoughts, positive thoughts!

Focus right now on enjoying life and deciding on a surgeon, hon. Don't take the lead of those who always seek the worst.

With Dr. Dumbell out of the way, you are down to two VERY talented surgeons on your list (and, no ... I never doubted Boachie's talents). All I can tell you is if you don't have total faith in either of them, you need to find another.

You can't keep driving yourself nuts with the worst of the worst scenarios.

Personally, I have never heard anyone on here complain thier vision was degraded by surgery unless it was on the downslide pre-op ANYWAY.

Regards,
Pam

debbei
05-29-2008, 10:42 AM
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the responses.

CStadler-- Thank God your vision cleared up.

I was just searching around because I wondered if it would be a bad time to have an eye exam prior to the surgery, I wasn't going around looking for bad stuff to put me into a funk.

Pam,

I did notice that it was a malpractice insurer, but I would rather be informed. I will definitely ask the Dr's about this; maybe they don't even use this 'controlled hypotension', who knows?

WOW you sure have had lots of surgeries. Maybe that's part of the reason I'm such a big chicken. I've only had my tonsils out when I was a kid, and some oral surgeries when I was a teenager, only to remove permanent teeth for braces. The only times I've been hospitalized since I've been married was when my 3 kids were born. Oh wait, I think I forgot a couple of D&C's, but that wasn't general anesthesia.

As far as enjoying life, the soonest my surgery would be is fall, and I told my hubby I want to have pool parties every weekend. I will have the best summer ever!

Thanks for your notes,

txmarinemom
05-29-2008, 11:15 AM
Debbei, the vision issue CAN happen ... but it's rare. Complications from any general anesthesia, are relatively rare - and that applies to this surgery too.

I only wanted to post in the sense of reassurance for you that worry over every single possible issue steals FAR too much joy from today. There's a difference between being informed and becoming petrified by "what-if's".

My house is pretty old: Although the porch roof *looks* sound, it *could* fall on my head *someday* as I walk out the front door. (More than likely, someone will run into me on the Houston freeways I drive daily).

I just don't choose to focus on what unlikely disasters *could* happen: Life is too short. Chances are, with any of us, the scenario you're sure is so dangerous won't be the one that gets you in the end :).

You're going to be fine through this, Debbe. If it makes you feel better, ask your surgeon (when you decide on one ... or have you yet?), but I think you'll have a MUCH easier time pre-op if you tone down the quest for dangers.

Best regards,
Pam

Singer
05-29-2008, 11:36 AM
Debbe, I experienced a tiny bit of blurred vision due to the drugs - it's a relatively common side effect of narcotics.

I wear glasses and contacts also, and I'm pretty blind without them. Interestingly, I NEVER put my glasses on the whole 10 days I was in the hospital. I just didn't need them. If I wasn't sleeping, I was staring at the walls mildly hallucinating from all the Dilaudid. It was kind of like having cartoons on all the time....not unpleasant.

The minute I got to rehab, the glasses went on and stayed on.

debbei
05-29-2008, 11:44 AM
If I wasn't sleeping, I was staring at the walls mildly hallucinating from all the Dilaudid. It was kind of like having cartoons on all the time....not unpleasant.


OMG you're cracking me up!!

Seriously though, I figure when you're on the narcotics, all bets are off as far as vision. I remember seeing wavey things when I had Demerol having my kids :) I'm bringing #2 son to get contacts tomorrow, I'll see what the eye doctor recommends about me having my eye exam now or after surgery.

Thanks for the info--

txmarinemom
05-29-2008, 01:41 PM
Interestingly, I NEVER put my glasses on the whole 10 days I was in the hospital. I just didn't need them. If I wasn't sleeping, I was staring at the walls mildly hallucinating from all the Dilaudid. It was kind of like having cartoons on all the time....not unpleasant.

Chris, I'm trying to remember ... was it you who posted you stared at the same magazine your entire post-op stay when I was pre-op? I just remember it cracked me UP, whomever said it - LOL!

You know, it's funny ... I was completely prepared for that (the mind numbing state post-op): I even mounted a cable splitter under my desk in my bedroom and moved in a television (that is SO fundamentally against my nature) just incase I couldn't read. It wasn't an issue for me, and I was SO relieved!

I never watch television ... the only reason it's on today is because the NCAA Division I Fastpitch World Series is on!

JoAnn5
05-29-2008, 03:49 PM
I couldn't concentrate on ANYthing with a plot for a couple of weeks, be it novel, movie, sit-com, or magazine article... Jerry Springer made me want to throw my puke pan at the TV, it made me so nervous!!! About the only thing i could tolerate was America's Funniest Home Videos... those short clips were just my speed and laughter IS the best medicine. Half the time, i couldn't tell if my glasses were on my face or perched atop my head... Just relax and enjoy the 'twilight'....lol.

lelc2002@yahoo
05-29-2008, 06:45 PM
I was the same as Joanne...concentration was at an all time low...
I ended up watching animal channel a lot...go figure...
Have not watched it at all since I was on pain meds....Ly :)

Karen Ocker
05-29-2008, 08:22 PM
This is really funny: I had a hospital bed with a great view of the NY East River. After surgery, as drugged up as I was, I kept thinking all that commerce on the river was a show put on just for me!!!!

debbei
05-29-2008, 08:37 PM
This is really funny: I had a hospital bed with a great view of the NY East River. After surgery, as drugged up as I was, I kept thinking all that commerce on the river was a show put on just for me!!!!

BWHAAHAAHAAAA, that's just PRICELESS!!!!

I'm afraid of what might come out of my mouth on narcotics. I said some pretty stupid things when having my kids, like I told my hubby to "go get the guy from Star Trek", and the other gem was "I'm going home now...you take over". LOL :D :D