Anesthesiology/General anesthesia vs MAC
I have severe side effects from general anesthesia - noisy gassy upset stomach w/urge bowel incontinence lasting over 2 years following whereas MAC (w/versed, fentanyl and diprivan IV) or "modified MAC" (2% lidocaine local, w/versed and fentanyl IV) for 1.5 hour surgery (pacemaker insert) results in no side effects. Is there any reason I should not insist on MAC rather than general for any future surgery?
First of all, the two are not necessarily related. I doubt the general anesthesia caused the effects you described for 2 yrs after surgery. There is no reason or explanation can could explain that. As for future surgeries, we always try to do the minimum but some surgeries require general anesthesia so you really don't have a choice. Realize that the drugs you had for MAC are the same drugs we use for general but in lower doses. You would need to better delineate your symptoms before ascribing them to anesthesia.
Ronald Levy, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology