I woke up during surgery, Have you? - page 3

I was responding to another thread the other day and made mention of the fact that I woke up DURING my last surgery. I got to wondering if this had ever happened to anybody else, so I thought I'd... Read More

  1. by   Zippedodah
    I wasn't all the way out when they paralyzed me before tubing me....that was a terrifying experience! I remember exhaling and then not being able to breathe. When I woke up I said something to the doc and she was horrified that it had happened! Scary!
  2. by   Ohmygosh
    About 10 years ago I woke up during a dental procedure to extract 4 wisdom teeth. I remember hearing someone say "She's waking up" - and I remember trying to remove whatever objects that were in my mouth. And "blink" I was out again. The Dr. asked me later if I remembered waking up.
  3. by   augigi
    Gosh, it sounds a lot more frequent than we'd think!! How horrifying for you all!
  4. by   RaElrA
    Yep. I was "awake" for a bunionectomy back in the 80's. I couldn't open my eyes or talk but I could move my feet. I knew that I had to keep the foot they were operating on as still as possible, but kept wiggling the other foot to try to get their attention--they didn't get it. I remember someone commenting about the other foot moving, but they did nothing! I didn't feel a lot of pain, but the sound and vibration of sawing and grinding on the bone was awful. It was a terrible experience, but because I didn't feel the excruciating pain I was lucky, and did not have any lasting trauma. I do seem to recall reaming out the doc, though, after I could talk!
  5. by   meownsmile
    My mother woke up during her knee arthoplasty. She remembers it vividly, but talks about it openly and honestly. She remembers hearing what was going on (which if any of you have had a knee replaced know it can be noisey). She doesnt have horrible long lasting effects.
    I think due to the fact she was very ready to have it done and educated about the procedure, how it is done, what to expect and what was going to happen during her surgery that it didnt bother her in the least. She wasnt in pain, they had done a spinal. Once the anesthesiologist noticed she was awake he gave her something and she went back to sleep. She has had both knees and a hip done and cant wait for the other hip to be done.
    Sorry some of you have had bad experiences.
  6. by   moonchild20002000
    Yes,I have been awake during a surgery. I was paralyzed and just terrfiied because I could not breathe. It got worse when they performed the procedure. I felt them do the procedure and can remember every word that was said. I was so traumatized by the experience.
  7. by   RNOTODAY
    I had a tubal ligation, and while I dont remember what kind of anesthesia I had, I remember hearing everything said, feeling a "pulling " sensation in my abdomen, and being very uncomfortable on the bed, my back hurt,and wishing it was over, but couldnt say anything. My biggest fear is actually feeling pain, but not being able to let them know.
  8. by   RN mom of 2
    oh man...i feel terrible for you guys! that just sounds so awful!


    Quote from studentspouse
    strange i thought you could not be put under for c-section because of what it would do to the baby...
    i delivered my son 7 mos ago via c/s, and i was under general anesthesia. i was in the hospital 4 days (no joke) trying to be induced and only got to 4 cm and baby was in distress. i kept telling them my epidural wasn't working, but they kept pumping massive drugs through it, and kept asking me, "do you feel this...?" i kept saying, "yes. i feel everything." well they still didn't believe me and started to cut into one side. i said, "i feel that!!" it felt like the worst burning pain. then he cut into the other side, and the same thing happened! i didn't want to attempt a spinal block after all i'd been through, so i said, "just put me under." i just wanted it over with.

    i was so scared. i had been through so much, and i had the worst feeling that one of us wouldn't make it out. i remember thinking, there isn't anything i can do about it now, and my baby needs to come out. it was truly awful. thank god i didn't wake up during it! that would have been the icing on the cake to an already horrible ordeal. i must have been out pretty good, because i could hardly wake up in recovery. the best part was awakening to see my son's face. they handed me my son and i looked at him and fell back to sleep. i remember thinking, "oh, we made it through." when i was relaying this experience later to a friend, i started to cry, because i told her how scared and alone i felt on that table.

    funny how the doc's don't want to listen to you. i had been begging for a c/s from day 2 in the hospital, to no avail. i knew deep down it would come to a c/s, and i was so tired of all the drugs they were giving me, being stuck in that bed and being scared something was wrong with my baby, he was having decels off and on. one decel was really bad after giving me some cervix drug (cytotec?). i wasn't sure he was going to recover and the doc ran in with tributaline (sp?), but his heart went back up before they had to give it. the whole experinece was a nightmare, until i had my baby in my arms.
  9. by   GatorRN
    Quote from augigi
    Sounds terrible, but what do you mean did the surgeon own up to it... it's the anaesthetist that is controlling your anaesthesia?
    I understand that the anesthesiologist controls the anesthesia. What I meant was, did the surgeon even acknowledge that it happened after the fact.

    Both the anesthesiologists came to my room and discussed it with me. They said I was crying out in pain, trying to pull on things, and trying to get up off the table. I didn't recall all that, but I did recall seeing the overhead lights and hearing/feeling the surgeon pounding the acetabulum hardware (hip replacement) into place, and feeling excruciating pain. They must have quickly loaded me up with Versed or something.

    When I saw the surgeon, in the hospital, and at my follow up appt, he never brought it up until after I asked him about it, then he downplayed it alltogether. He told me simply that it's not unusual for pts to wake up confused, and that he hoped I understood that they weren't trying to hurt me, they were trying to keep me from hurting myself, explaining the reason for the restraints, I suppose. And, the fact, that he didn't document anything in his surgical notes about it.

    Someone else mentioned that they may have woke me up intentionally. I don't believe that was the case in my situation. It wasn't the type of surgery that involved anything neuro or reflex related. It was a total hip replacement.

    To any of you CRNA's out there: Is it, or is it not, standard to administer a paralyzant to pts receiving general anesthesia? I always thought it was standard procedure during a general. Either they didn't use it on me, or it wore off, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to do the things they told me I did. I'm not seeking advice for medical or legal purposes, I'm just curious.

    I'm really surprised to hear about so many others that have also had such an experience! Thankfully, my situation wasn't like many have mentioned, about being awake, but paralysed, and unable to communicate what you were going through. That had to have been absolutely horrifying for you. I can only imagine. I'm sorry to hear so many ppl have gone through a situation similiar to mine. It's obviously more common of an occurence then I thought it was.
  10. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from GatorRN
    I'm really surprised to hear about so many others that have also had such an experience! Thankfully, my situation wasn't like many have mentioned, about being awake, but paralysed, and unable to communicate what you were going through. That had to have been absolutely horrifying for you. I can only imagine. I'm sorry to hear so many ppl have gone through a situation similiar to mine. It's obviously more common of an occurence then I thought it was.

    I can't believe how many people have had this horrifying experience. That did it for me. I will never have surgery again if I can help it.
  11. by   Gennaver
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    I can't believe how many people have had this horrifying experience. That did it for me. I will never have surgery again if I can help it.
    Here, hear,

    I agree Angi O'Plasty. Reading this thread has been more than an eye-opener.

    I don't know how to express my empathy enough for patients who "feel" and are paralyzed, how unthinkable.
    Gen
  12. by   louloubell1
    Quote from GatorRN
    To any of you CRNA's out there: Is it, or is it not, standard to administer a paralyzant to pts receiving general anesthesia? I always thought it was standard procedure during a general. Either they didn't use it on me, or it wore off, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to do the things they told me I did. I'm not seeking advice for medical or legal purposes, I'm just curious.
    Not a CRNA quite yet (I don't take my boards until next month). I can, however, answer your question. No, it is not always necessary to utilize a neuromuscular blocker (paralytic) during general anesthesia. There are plenty, plenty of surgeries that do not require muscle relaxation, & in these cases the anesthesia provider may or may not use any.
  13. by   GatorRN
    thanks rnlou, i stand corrected.

    _______________________________

    go gators!! #2 in the nation!!

    national championship bowl bound!!

close