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Anesthesiology/taking two plus days to wake up from general anesthesia


My friend in BC, Canada took two and a half days to be wakened after her shoulder surgery four months ago. I'm sorry I do not have more details, I will try to get her records.

She has liver cirrhosis (not from drinking) and cervical cancer. Her medical history is: severe magnesium deficiancy (which she has been on IV for and which they have never been able to find cause for) and diabetes type 11. She takes insulin.

She now needs a hysterectomy and a liver transplant. Last week, two anesthesiologists, the liver doctor, and the Gynocologist, held a meeting with her. The anesthesiologists said she could not have general anesthesia since she could not be wakened up, and the other doctors said without the surgeries she had 6-12 months to live.

I am having a hard time accepting that my friend will die through lack of surgery. Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

You're missing something because there is no such thing as "you can't have surgery because you don't wake up from anesthesia". Without the record, I could not tell you why it took 2 days to wake up. There is no condition I am aware of that would cause that. As for the liver transplant, clearly there are risks involved, but the alternative is worse. You need to see the anesthesia record to grind out what happened. Unfortunately, I can't tell you much more with the information you have.

Ronald Levy, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology


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Ronald Levy, M.D.


Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. I am a board certified anesthesiologist who can answer all questions related to any type of Anesthesia with the exception of Pain Management.

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