Thursday, February 19, 2009

THE ANESTHETIST: DR DU PLESSSIS


I met with the anesthetist, Dr Du Plessis (011 482 1484), today. He will administer my anesthetic during my surgery on Monday (23.2.09).

He needed to know whether I have any allergies to the anesthetic, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, and pain medications that will be given.

I told him I am allergic to allopathic medicine in general! He did not find this funny.

He also asked if I had any serious illnesses. Normally I get to say no, except for virtually non-existent psoriasis. So I pulled his leg and said 'Nothing except for breast cancer'. No laughs again.

I told Dr Du Plessis that I shiver and shake quite a bit after an anesthetic (when my right sentinel lymph node was removed, I only started shivering and shaking once back in the ward and the nurses were quite unsympathetic).

I asked him what caused this?

He explained that this was due to a number of factors:

  • The theatre is kept quite cool during the operation
  • The anesthetic causes vasodilation (blood vessel dilation) and the blood moves from the body’s core to the periphery (arms & legs) as well. This results in the blood being exposed to more skin surface area so more heat is lost.
  • Pain medication, especially morphine, has this side effect. Pethidine does not seem to have as severe an effect so I will be given this.
  • The body registers the surgery as a major injury,and so the stress hormones (eg. cortisol) rise resulting in a drop in body temperature.

I asked how he was going to help prevent this after Monday's operation?:
  • During the operation, Dr Du Plessis will cover me with a paper blanket. Warm air will be blown underneath the blanket to keep me warm. The combo of the blanket + 'hairdryer' will follow me to the ward afterwards.

Dr Du Plessis then took my blood pressure (which was 98/62 – it is always a little low), listened to my lungs, and looked in my mouth. All fine.

I asked him if he would take photos during the surgery for my blog and he said he would.

Return on Tuesday or so for surgery pics!

I will post pics of pre-1st breast implants, post-1st implants, pre-removal of 1st implants, no implants post-mastectomy, insertion of tissue expanders, and finally insertion of 2nd breast implants.

LiveHeidi

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