In-Office Surgery May Lower Exposure to Risk

Something seems to have changed in the Anesthesia world.  Back in the day, coming out of general anesthesia was sometimes slow-going, taking hours.  Once the patient was fully awake, though, the worst of it was over.  Pain management could be handled and changed directly and quickly.  From reports about, that’s no longer the case for at least some of the population undergoing general anesthesia.  A pharmacist recently stated that it can be 6-12 months before the body is completely recovered from undergoing anesthesia.  The author had not noticed that long a lag as recently as ten or so years ago, but a recent surgery requiring general anesthesia showed that to be true.  What’s worse, it brought up symptoms of diabetes that had not been experienced before, including a significant change in vision, dry mouth, etc. which has lasted more than two weeks.    A worker who had shoulder surgery that required a couple days of post-op care in the hospital reports similar issues… and these become risks, as the surgeon can easily be sued for the changes.

In my case, I still feel the General wasn’t necessary.  The doctor quotes the need for a sterile field, but it was all soft tissue, limited to a 4 inch incision.  People regularly get wounds far larger in a dirty workplace and still recover with basic antibiotics.  I’d like to be more optimistic, but the surgeon is part owner of the surgical facilities in the complex, which leads one to suspect, or at least question, motives to insist on an operating theatre, rather than just doing a local or a block and performing the same procedure in-office.  Had it been performed that way, I wouldn’t have just spent 2 weeks of highly disturbing and life-changing symptoms (so far) following that relatively simple procedure (relocating the ulnar nerve at the elbow).  

Pulling it all together if undergoing General Anesthesia leaves the patient’s body so disturbed for 6-12 months, it seems that should be a last resort.  Every case is involved, complicated in some degree by other factors, but the point remains that it’s far more likely that a patient will sue over complications from the anesthesia than an error in a relatively simple procedure.  This reason suggests that performing surgeries in office, avoiding General Anesthesia as much as possible, may significantly lower the risk of a lawsuit.  Some could counter that the strict observance of OR procedure avoids other dangers, but it remains that the anesthesia itself is a dangerous proposition — perhaps more dangerous than the cure itself, if performed in-office, under local anesthesia

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