Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Anesthesia

Mitral Valve Surgery

03/12/2008

Question:

I`m a 51 year old female having mitral valve surgery in the future. I`m terrified of the general anesthesia. My last surgery It was 11yrs ago I was severly tramatized from a bad car wreck. My arm was burned 3rd degree and had to have skin grafts. I lay unconscious for days not knowing anything. I believe that`s my fear of general anesthesia.It`s a fear I`m not going to wake up from surgery.I have bad anxiety from this. Can`t overcome this. Any suggestions.

Answer:

It's a big operation and with your trauma background the anxiety is understandable.

The difference is you can get prepared emotionally for this whereas you did not have that luxury when you were treated after you car accident.

Anti-anxiety medications may help but it may be more useful to seek trained psychological counseling. There are a number of techniques that can help, including music therapy, positive imagery, self-hypnosis, meditation, etc. Unfortunately the Anesthesia Department is usually not the place to find this sort of assistance so I can only suggest you ask your family physician for a referral to someone who specialises in it.

For more information:

Go to the Anesthesia health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Gareth S Kantor, MD Gareth S Kantor, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University