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Author Topic: Modest Patient's Epidural Question  (Read 1078 times)

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Offline Roobin

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Modest Patient's Epidural Question
« on: June 27, 2010, 06:34:17 PM »
Hello,
I will be having knee surgery for a torn meniscus, and am considering whether or not to have an epidural or general. One of my friends told me that she had an epidural and hated it for this reason: she said the whole time the surgery was going on she felt felt awkward and embarrassed because she was lying there naked from the waist down. It would have been the same, of course, if she had to gotten general anesthesia, but she would have been "out", so unaware. One of my other friends said she should have asked to keep her underwear on. I am worried if I have the epidural I'd feel the same way. Can anyone tell me how this is usually handled to maintain a patient's sense of modesty.

Offline fraud_ninja

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Re: Modest Patient's Epidural Question
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2010, 06:50:00 PM »
I've had both general and epidural with sedation.  If you have an epidural with sedation its pretty much the same experience as a general.

Unfortunately the whole surgical experience is not exactly one of modesty.  Some surgeons will allow you to wear your underwear and some will not.  You do have one of those lovely hospital gowns on, but they do not leave you feeling too covered.  Most hospitals will give you blankets before you go into surgery to keep you warm while you wait.  The blankets are also good for feeling a bit more covered up as you wait.

When you get into surgery they use sterile draps and such to basically cover everything but the small area of your knee.  This is done for sterilization and to help prevent the chance of infection.

As far as chosing general versus epidural, some hospitals and doctors do not give you a choice.  When I had ankle surgery last fall the surgery center only had general.  When I had two of my knee surgeries my surgeon only had epidural with sedation.  The epidural with sedation is pretty much the same as general, you are totally unaware of your surroundings.  The only difference is you tend to 'wake' up faster with sedation than with general.

Good luck.  I promise you that its not as bad as you might fear.
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Offline crankerchick

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Re: Modest Patient's Epidural Question
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2010, 08:59:23 PM »
You should ask the surgeon about whether you would be sedated or not with the epidural. I had spinal anesthesia for my last surgery but I was asleep for the whole thing. I would choose spinal again too because for me it did seem I woke up faster and less groggy than with the general. General was fine for me, no complications or anything, but I just felt more loopy when I woke up from it and I could tell I had the breathing tube in my throat. It was a bit scratchy.
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