Lately we have been receiving a lot of search queries from Google and Yahoo concerning Anesthesia, Surgery, Alzheimer's and dementia.
It is likely to be of greater concern as baby boomers continue to age and the incidence of Alzheimer's and related dementia's like Lewy Body continue to rise.
Subscribe to the Alzheimer's Reading Room
It is not unusual for dementia patients to evidence considerable negative effects from anesthesia after an operation.
Caregivers often notice sharp drops in memory, postoperative delirium, and postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) after an operation, and have no idea what to do about.
You should find all the links in this article to be helpful, including this one.
Article - Alzheimer's and Anesthesia
It is clear that anesthesia and Alzheimer's don't mix well. As a result, you should always talk to a doctor specialist (surgeon), and to an anesthesiologist before any surgery.
Three things you want to know are:
1. Is the the operation absolutely necessary?
2. What alternative anesthesia's are available, and which work best with dementia patients?
3. What is the protocol, in other words what is going to be done, after the surgery if any of these problems arise - a sharp drops in memory, postoperative delirium, or postoperative cognitive dysfunction?
You really need to have these conversations upfront so you are clear on what will be done in the eventuality of any problems.
Ask these 3 questions.
4. Is the doctor going to use Sedation or Anesthesia?
5. What are the risks involved in the Surgery?
6. What are the known anesthesia risks for the Elderly?
The surgeon and anesthesiologist should be able to answer these questions easily. If not, you might need a second doctor or a second opinion.
This article - 3 Things Everyone Should Know About Anesthesia - should be helpful in helping you ask the right questions and how to formulate those question. You might want to print the article and have it in hand if surgery is on the horizon.
Test Your Memory for Alzheimer's (5 Best Tests)
Alzheimers Dementia Symptoms
Care of Dementia Patients
Urinary Tract Infections Can Hasten Memory Loss in Alzheimer's Patients
Problems with Balance, Walking, Falling an Early Sign of Dementia
Alzheimer's Care Nursing Homes
The 7 Stages of Alzheimer's
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). The Alzheimer's Reading Room contains more than 5,000 articles and has been published daily since July, 2009.
Source Alzheimer's Reading Room
Under general anesthesia, you are completely unconscious and unable to feel pain during medical procedures. General anesthesia usually uses a combination of intravenous drugs and inhaled gasses (anesthetics).
General anesthesia is more than just being asleep; the anesthetized brain doesn't respond to pain signals or reflexes.
An anesthesiologist is a specially trained doctor who specializes in anesthesia. While you're unconscious, the anesthesiologist monitors your body's vital functions and manages your breathing.
In many hospitals, an anesthesiologist and a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) work together during your procedure.
Source - Mayo Clinic
Anesthesia is a way to control pain during a surgery or procedure by using medicine called anesthetics. It can help control your breathing, blood pressure, blood flow, and heart rate and rhythm.
Source - WebMD
Bob DeMarco Alzheimer's Reading Room