Any success or horror stories of anesthesia in an elderly?

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I need quick advice before tonight!


My grandma went to the hospital on Tuesday because of craziness from a UTI, finally today she is back to normal and being herself it was a joy as she has been out of it for weeks because they couldn't get rid of the UTI. while in the hospital they found a bleeding ulcer hence why she had anemia/ so with that they want to put under anthesia tomorrow to see if there is cancer or something else. They said it should about 15 minutes. All the horror stories I have heard about anthesia I am worried. Is it worth it, will be she be normal after. Please tell me success of stories or horror stories of anthesia in an elderly my grandma is 86.

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It is a really hard thing to know. My mother who is 90 years old walked into the hospital to have an endoscopy on her pancreas. She lived alone, did all her shopping and driving. She did fine leaving the hospital but 2 days later called me and said I needed to come get her. That was in February and she is still at my home. She is very shaky when she tries to walk and has to use a wheelchair most of the time. Her memory has become foggy and bad, she has to wear depends now and she didn't before. We had MRI's of her brain, many blood tests and other testing which showed no stroke or other problem. She has now been diagnosed with dementia but no one can tell me why this happened to her. We have been advised to not have her do any tests that involve any type of anesthesia because at her age she wouldn't be doing treatment if cancer or other terminal conditions were diagnosed. Since this happened, I have done some research and heard from other families that this has also happened to. Most people will just be in a fog for anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. Good luck and God bless you!
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1teach.....just want to commend you for being so "ahead of the curve" w/your concerns. It is a fact that as you age it takes longer for your body to clear the anaesthesia. Excellent advice here: Do discuss this fully w/Dr AND Anesthesiologist....and GMA. OTOH, this 15 minute procedure sounds like an endoscopy which my 94 YO Mom w/GERDS has had more than once since her mid-80's.....if that is the case, they use a very lite anesthetic just to minimize discomfort....my Mom never had issues during or after the procedure....my personal understanding is that it is the "general anaesthesia" used in longer, serious surgeries that poses the biggest risk for elders. Good on you for being concerned and seeking answers and.....Best to you and GMA!
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Teach, from what you describe, it sounds more like an endoscopy than surgery. My father had that years ago; he was under light sedation, required in part to suppress the gag reflex.

He had surgeries at 94 and 95 for fractured femurs.

But really, it depends on the individual and what other medical conditions the person has.

One thing to ask the physician who'll perform the procedure is what's the worst that could happen if she doesn't have it done? And can she live with that, and is that acceptable to her and is it acceptable to her family?

I hope you find peace and comfort in the decision you make.
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FF, you were in a brain fog for over a month ... but you did fully recover, right? (At least your writing seems fine!)

Each time my husband (mid 70s to mid 80s, with dementia) was hospitalized I think it took nearly 5 months for him to get back to his former baseline. This was just from the hospitalization experience, no anesthesia involved!

1teach1cory, I expect that your dear grandmother is going to be at least a little foggy for weeks, whether she has this procedure or not. She has already had considerable trauma with her health. The anesthesia may make the recovery period longer.

It sounds like this decision is hers, but you can try to influence her if you have strong opinions.

Several years ago when my mother was in her mid 80s her doctor wanted her to have some tests for a mass that showed up on a scan. My mother refused, saying "if it is cancer, I will not accept treatment, so what is the point in even knowing? I'm going to die of something. If this is it, I'm OK with it. I've had a good long life." Wow! Her doctor accepted that. (Mom is still with us, so it wasn't cancer.)

I'd want to know from the anesthesiologist what the risks are, how long it stays in her system, etc. And I'd want to know from the doctor what will they do with the information they gather? What are the realistic options for treatment? I'd share this with Grandma.

It is really, really hard to feel responsible for decisions for a loved one, isn't it? Hugs to you, dear caregiver, and please don't feel guilty for whatever happens. We all try hard to do our best. That is all you can expect from yourself!

Please come back and tell us how this all works out.
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I found an article here in Aging Care regarding same. https://www.agingcare.com/articles/how-general-anesthesia-affects-elders-mind-160100.htm

I know when I had surgery to remove a large kidney stone, I was in a brain fog for over a month.
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I am her durable POA
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1teach, is it general anesthesia or something lighter? Ask the docs. Ask to have a consult with the anesthesiologist if needs be.
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a few days ago, she would not be able to make the decision, but today She could. It is minor just putting s tube down into her stomach. I just don't want to loose her menetally.
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I am so glad they got the UTI "craziness" under control.

What will they do with the information they get from this procedure? If they find out the cause of the ulcer, can they treat it? I guess that is the approach I'd take if I had to make a decision for her. What are the benefits of having this test vs the benefits of not having anesthesia?

Unless you are her medical POA AND she is deemed not competent to make her own decisions, it really won't be up to you.
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Are you her medical POA?

If they think she can make her own decisions then it's up to her...

My Mom had gallbladder surgery at 88 and in my opinion after that the dementia became worse.. She's 93 now and at Stage 6 of the Alzheimer stage..

BUT my husbands Grandmother had same surgery at 83 and had no dementia and lived till 94..

Good luck.. I understand your hesitation... It could be nothing serious and she could live a long and healthy life..
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