Thank you for posting your update. I am due for surgery next week and its the GA I'm most worried about but you've put my mind at rest a little.
Im writing this for others behind me in this journey
I am 50 and I am NOT an active person I would say I am unfit actually. I am not obese but I am not skinny either.
I was admitted at 7.30am. Where I was in Burnley they don't have a breast care ward as such, there was me and one other lady breast cancer surgery and we were admitted onto a gynaecology ward. No beds as it was a day case. Just a chair and some drawers.
Asked to change into the gown and put on surgical stockings to prevent thrombosis which occurs usually from a result of lack of movement following surgery
I went down at 10am. I cried as they put the drum into the back of my hand as I knew it was time to be knocked out and I was scared about that part. They told me a gas pipe would be put down my throat once I was asleep.
They gave me an initial drug which made me relaxed but my heart was racing from anxiety and they noticed that. As soon as I confirmed I felt a little drunk the injected the cocktail of anaesthetic into the drum and she told me as she was pushing into the drum "this is what will make you sleep" It was half way empty and I was gone. No counting backwards or anything I was GONE!!
The next thing I know was some nurse was shouting "Elizabeth! Are you awake yet? Your partners tried to call you we're talking you back to the ward now"
I was totally out of it but awake. My mouth and throat was very dry and I needed a pee (I have menopause issues with bladder and vagina issues and it was especially bad during that 2 week period)
I noticed the clock said 12.20 and I was shocked at how long I had been unconscious.
After 1/5 hours I ask for food but my mouth was so dry and my throat so sore it took me a LONG time to be able to swallow that tuna sandwich.
At 4.30pm I was ready to leave. So I did.
I had little to no pain in my breast or armpit but my throat was very sore from the pipe they place down there to give you gas. I lost my voice for 4 days but I did not need pain killers for the surgery sites at all.
I felt like I had a cold with sinus issues for a few days. I went away on holiday (UK based) on the 17th June just 5 days after my operation and I was able to do everything.
I needed no support or had issues with seat belts. I was able to carry things and move my arm as normal after 3 days. I went on fairground rides and played crazy golf and walked my dogs on holiday went shopping etc. I did not feel tired or weak at all.
I removed my dressing a week after surgery as there was no blood on them so felt they were dry and fine to not need dressings.
Other than some slight stabbing pains occasionally to both areas breast and underarm I feel "as I was" prior
Everyone is different and I guess I bounced back very quickly because I was warned I would not be able to move much much less do things on my holiday from other ladies and I was told to do exercises but I didn't do them because I was moving my arm as normal pretty much straight away. It did not hurt when I was trying to sleep or anything.
The scars look clean. The under arm scar is slightly raised. I have dissolvable stitches
Hope that helps others 🙂
Just to add to the reassurance. I am 66 and had my lumpectomy 3 weeks ago. It was all very straightforward. I felt a bit sick after the anaesthetic but soon got over it. I was back to normal the next day, and able to walk the dog, get the bus to go shopping etc. I was driving again after a few days.
I don't think masks (apart from oxygen) are much involved in a GA these days - quick injection in catheter in the back of the hand and then insertion of 'tubey thing' down the throat (as my daughter says) when you are properly out. The only mask I was aware of was oxygen when going under and coming round. I think those heavy masks have been consigned to the history books
I had such a phobia of masks that when I was having a child in 1990 I was told to have it on for the 'gas and air' - sucking it through a tube was not the standard here then - anyway , I said that it will end in disaster...many assurances later that it would be fine from the midwives, nothing like you remember etc etc. It lasted on my face all of 2 minutes - I threw up because the smell of the gas just set me off!
However, after my 3 ops this last year, I can say it was a doddle and phobia gone. One phobia though is still the dentist....
OMG i can so relate to the gas mask at the dentist! I only had it once as a child for a tooth extraction and the sense of falling down a well and the light at the top of the well getting smaller and smaller and the smell of the rubber and gas... apparently I was crying out in my drug induced sleep all the while....nightmares as he extracted my tooth....they had to carry me back into the waiting room....hated it. To this day I would opt for local over general if its an option. Im quite tough in the dentist chair ive had a LOT of work done over the years.
I actually thought they gave you a drug to knock you out and then put the gas mask on you to keep you under its the gas I dreaded as thats what makes you feel sick and dizzy from memory 😞
Many thanks ladies
Ive been REALLY calm until now. Ive read some poor ladies needing sleeping tablets and anxiety meds when going through this ordeal and unusually for me (Im a highly strung person) I have more or less accepted the situation. Off course the initial and unofficial diagnosis after the mammo and ultra sound was a shock and hit hard but by the time it came to the official diagnosis I had made peace with the cancer part and was just anxious how advanced it was.
Im sure you can all relate to this part, I thought the biopsy results were the most important but i soon learned the real diagnosis comes after the operation as things can change from the biopsy. So now I have to wait again!
I was quite confident I had a cyst when I found my lump my own doctor had a feel and she was quite confident too and only referred me to ease my anxiety. So when I attended the breast clinic I went in alone. It was only when I was asked to come back in for a second mammo that I started to feel scared. Then the ultra sound scan was focusing on my arm pit and I just knew then it was cancer and asked her and she more or less told me it was or would be and I started crying on the bed as they did the lymph node biopsy.
From there it was all a nightmare unfolding..the week waiting for the results was horrible. But relief was so amazing when I was told the lymph node was normal..... but then I learned THAT can all change when the operation results come back.
I don't dwell on death but of course its there in the back of my mind... the "what ifs?" ....
I was told "Early detection" I hope that remains true. xx
I had my SNB and lumpectomy last September. Like you I was more worried about the GA - waking up mid op, not coming round etc.
I last had a GA for a gynae problem back in the 90's and this time I was strongly re-assured that that anaesthetics have moved on since then and are even safer and with even less side effects than then. I used to have GAs for teeth removal in the 60's and masks still really freak me out ( I can still smell the gas and heavy rubber they used). Now it is an injection in the back of the hand and a light oxygen mask
The op is relatively short - I felt a fuzzy feeling in my head and then next thing I was waking up and wondering what all the noise was from the monitors. I went down to theatre abiout 4 and was home by 8. No sickness or headaches. A good night's sleep and we went to the pub for lunch the next day! A little tiredness the next day and that was that. No pain killers needed after 2 days
There are thousands of GAs given every day and problems are extremely rare and this is a very short op - you will be continuously monitored by experts. Try to be reassured ( I know it's difficult) . Hugs to all who are about to go through it.
I had to have the op repeated 2 more times - got on very good terms with the anaesthetist!
Hi I’ve recently been put under anaesthetic and I had the exact same feelings I was petrified of waking up whilst I was in theatre or not waking up at all. But I can honestly say it isn’t so bad after all. There is a room full of professionals to help. I was crying and really worked myself up. They started talking to me and I ended up having a random conversation and that’s the last thing I remember. I woke up and felt like I’d had a really good sleep.
So try not to worry too much I know it’s easier said than done but just imagine it as a nice sleep with and you’ll be away before you know it.
All the best xx
Im 51 was diagnosed in February. IDC sounds similar to myself. I’m scared of dentist but actually found the general anaesthetic actually ok . Felt sore for few days but healed really quickly. Have found the waiting for results hard . But we all get there . You will too . I was out shopping on Sunday 3 days after operation felt bit tender . Enjoy your holiday. This forum is the place for support or questions. It is just like a lovely sleep. So don’t worry. Take care Jackie ❤️
Just to hopefully ease your mind about the anaesthetic - I'm 64 now, and in May 2018 I had my lumpectomy/lymph removal surgery. My first ever experience of general anaesthetic, I was a bundle of nerves and ready to leg it in my gown and pressure socks right up to the last moment!! I came round from it feeling like I'd had the best sleep, and what were all these bright lights about, waking me up from a pleasant dream, haha. So fingers and paws crossed for you that you have a positive experience ( most unpleasant part from coming round was the dry mouth and then the sore throat for about half a day but that was nothing to make a fuss about ). Hugs aplenty x
I had a biopsy and one lymph node tested in May and was told I have invasive duct cancer (?) which is oestrogen receptive approx 24mm lump. The "borderline" lymph node they biopsied came back normal. And I am HER2 negative
I am having a lumpectomy this Weds 12th June and the dye procedure on the 11th June (the day before) I have to be at hospital on the 12th at 7.30am.
Nerves are starting to set in now. The last time I had general anaesthetic I was about 24 I am 50 now so I am worried I wont wake up or I will wake up as they are cutting me and we have a UK holiday booked on the 17th June and the breast care nurse said I will be OK to go (Too late to cancel now anyway but it cost £3200!)
Im worried I will be too sick weak woozy to go anywhere as I have read some ladies here at my age took longer to recover they were tired for weeks after.
I asked if I could have a local anaesthetic instead (on the phone to a breast care nurse) but was told "no" I am worried about the anaesthetic not the operation.
I had dental implants done last year under twilight sedation (Which I didn't want!) and my heart was racing and I had so much adrenaline in my system the sedation barely touched me.
I asked the pre op nurse if I would be given a pre med pill to calm me but she seemed reluctant to answer saying
"It depends how nervous you are"
I have no needed sleeping pills or anxiety pills or anything since I was told during the ultra sound scan I probably had cancer. I have been "ok" a few wobbles here and there but basically Ok.
Of course I am worried my nodes will come back with cancer in them ....
Im just worried. Full Stop.
Any advise from experience is appreciated!