Anesthesiology/anesthesia for upcoming operation
I had a gold weight implanted 10 years ago. It began extruding and the surgeon scheduled me for surgery to remove it. When I arrived at the surgery center, the anesthesiologist told me I was scheduled for general anesthesia. But, the weight had extruded so much, when the surgeon saw me (he hadn't seen me in 7 weeks, the soonest I could get in) he said I didn't need general anesthesia as it would only take him 3 minutes to do the surgery. Other than Versed, I'm not sure what they gave me. I felt like I went to sleep at first, but I could feel the surgeon sewing my eyelid. When I awoke, I was asked how I felt. I responded I was ok, but that the surgery had hurt. That's when I was told I was given Versed and shouldn't remember anything. Now it's time to put in the new weight. I do not want a repeat of this last surgery. I called the surgery center and was told I would not be given Versed this time but I would only have twilight sleep. I want general anesthesia or at the least, deep sedation. Is it my right to ask for this or does the surgery center decide what type of anesthesia I receive? How do I avoid a repeat of this happening?
It is your right to the anesthesia of your choice (within the boundaries of what the anesthesiologist feels is safe). If any of several options is safe and effective, then you have the right to choose. When you speak with the anesthesiologist prior to your surgery, discuss the problems you had with your previous surgery and your concerns for the current surgery and together develop a plan that is safe and makes you as comfortable as possible.
Ronald Levy, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology