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Anesthesiology/anesthesia and cervical surgery


Dear doctor,
My 65 year old father will have a surgery because of myelopathy in his cervical area.How long does the surgery take normally?as I heard anesthesia is more risky when it's longer...
My father had some miner heart problems several years ago,and he was taking Propranolol pills for several months in that time.Can it cause any serious risks for him?
Thanks for your time

The duration of the surgery for this type can be variable. It will depend on how many levels need to be worked on and how fast the surgeon operates. In general for average surgeons in the United States it takes approximately two hours to three hours for this type of surgery. As far as the risk with your father's heart problems, if it was a minor problem and has resolved the risk is minimal currently. If the doctor told him to stop taking his pills for his heart then there should be no issues, however, if he stopped taking his pills without the authorization from his doctor this could be an issue that needs to be resolved.
It is true that the duration of surgery is correlated with increased risk, however, this is more true when duration of surgery is longer than 4 to 5 hours.
propranolol is a beta blocker. It is a medication that should be continued unless specifically discontinued by the doctor.

I wish you luck in your upcoming surgery I am sure that all will go well.
Thank you for your question, Dr. Russell


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Rex Russell


Any question dealing with general anesthesia issues. With particular emphasis on regional anesthesia.


I am a board certified anesthesiologist, graduated from residency in 2004 from Johns Hopkins Hospital. I have since worked as an anesthesiologist first in the Air Force for three years and then most recently in Texas in Private Practice.

Texas Medical Association Texas society of Anesthesiologists American Society of Anesthesiologists

BS, BYU MD, U of Texas, Galveston Intern-St. Joe's Hospital, Phx, AZ Internal Medicine Residency-Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

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