Our anaesthesiologist Magnus explains
The purpose of the anaesthesia in bariatric surgery – in addition to making it possible to operate – is to help you feel as good as possible after surgery taking into account pain, nausea, mobilization and temperature control.
When you enter the operating room, you have probably already received a peripheral venous catheter in one arm, at the ward. We will carry out an additional verification of your identity and confirm the type of operation that is planned. In the room there are some people who all have a specific role during the operation: we are 2-3 surgical nurses, 2 surgeons, 1-2 anesthesiology nurses and one anesthesiologist.
You lie down on the operating table and some of the operations team work around you, connect you to surveillance equipment and start preparing the operation. There will be no stings or other painful things that are done in the operating room while you are awake. We also connect our drug pumps to the venous catheter and soon start giving you a small dose of medicine to help you relax before you go to sleep.
Anaesthesia with intravenous drugs in gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy
In the pumps there are 2 different medications, propofol (sedative agent) and remifentanil which is a strong analgesic medicine akin to morphine. In some patients, a burning sensation is experienced during the infusion into the vein that goes away with local anesthesia. It is not dangerous and does not indicate that the venous catheter is in the wrong place. Before you fall asleep completely, you breathe pure oxygen through a mask. This is a safety measure. If you experience the mask very unpleasant, we can in most cases lighten some on the mask so it does not close too tightly.
While you’re asleep, we’ll tilt the whole table in the way that we elevate the head end. To ensure that you do not slip during the operation, there is a footplate that you should lie close to with your sole and we also put a seat belt around your legs.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Will I be in pain after surgery?
Most of our patients feel pretty good when they wake up after surgery and some even ask if we should not start operating soon! We will transfer you in a bed to the recovery area and you will be monitored for 1-2 hours before you can get to your room. Approximately 15-20 minutes after the end of surgery, most of the anesthesia has lost its effect and you can expect discomfort similar to post exercise muscle aches in the abdominal wall, as if you had done too many situps the day before. Many also experience pain in their shoulders. This is explained by irritation of the diaphragm and abdominal cavity after the laparoscopic surgery and that these organs share sensorics with the shoulders – so we have done nothing with the shoulders. Some patients have an experience of suction high up in the middle of the abdominal cavity. Often it is effective pain relief to change position and rise up to reduce these discomforts.
You don’t have to worry about suffering from severe pain. You should be so well pain-relieved that you can draw deep breaths, cough, be able to move in bed and relax. Please also see our information video about general anesthesia.
You will get extra pain relief if necessary – but the goal of pain relief is to make your discomfort manageable, not to make you painless! If we were to be too generous with pain-relieving drugs (morphine-like agents), it would greatly contribute to increased nausea, lower your ability to breathe and make you very lethargic. The goal is to help you move as soon as possible and stand up on your feet. This is to reduce the risk of blood clots and lung complications and to get the small intestine up and running again.
What pain killers will I receive?
Pain relief consists of different parts. By default, paracetamol and anti-inflammatory medicine (eterocoxib) are given in tablet form at the ward. During the operation we also give you oxycodone, clonidine and local anesthesia in the abdominal wall where the peepholes will be.
Am I going to feel sick after the surgery?
It’s individual how likely you are to feel sick after surgery. Patients who suffer from motion sickness and have felt ill during previous anaesthisia have an increased risk of nausea. Sleeve gastrectomy patients feel to some extent more ill the first hours after surgery than other types of surgery. In any case, this will pass, usually the first hours or before evening. To reduce the risk of nausea, we provide preventive medicines as a standard, in addition to that we avoid all anesthetic gases and instead sedate using propofol.
Am I completely sedated during the operation?
Yes, it’s the only way to perform laparoscopic operations safely.
Can I wake up during the operation?
No. We constantly monitor you during the operation and would notice if something did not look right a long time before you would be conscious. The medicines we use have been used for a long time and we have performed thousands of these operations without it ever happening. Among other things, we monitor heart rate, blood pressure, oxygenation, body movements, breath size, pressure in the airways and your eye movements.
When do I wake up?
You wake up from the sedation to the degree that you can breathe yourself and we can communicate with you in simple sentences immediately after completing the operation when you are still on the operating table. In most cases, patients do not remember these first few minutes afterwards. However, you will be tired in the first few hours after surgery when you are in the recovery unit and most fall asleep for shorter periods there.
Do I get a tube in my throat?
Yes, but only while you’re asleep. You won’t be awake with a tube in your throat.
We use a tube to help you breathe and it is called an endotracheal tube. It goes down the trachea. A second tube goes down the esophagus. In some cases, patients may subsequently experience discomfort in the throat, similar to the onset of tonsillitis. It usually goes over in 1-2 days.
When can I see my relatives?
After you leave the recovery department. Since there are other patients who are waking up in the room, we are not able to receive relatives there. Most often you can call your relatives from the recovery department.