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Many mentions about "did not wake up after surgery"

on 3/29/12 4:26 am - Lockport, IL
VSG on 04/16/12
Hi all,

Over the past few months I have seen it mentioned matter-a-factly that some did not wake up after surgery. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Obviously these folks are alive and well, but I would like more in-depth info reegrding this. How did this effect your stay in the hospital? I am gearing up for my surgery 04/16 and appreciate any insight you can give me. Is this considered ok/normal? Thanks so much Sharon




on 3/29/12 4:44 am - CA
I didn't have this experience myself but thought I would give my 2 cents for what it's worth =) I think what they are meaning is that they had a rough recovery from anesthesia. Not everyone responds the same to the anesthetic. A lot of factors come into play. Even the healthiest person can have complications from anesthesia.  Of course we need to do our part to make the best recovery possible. This is one reason why it is best to lose a little weight before surgery. It helps with our blood pressure along with many other factors. Start exercising to become more cardiovascular in shape for the procedure and it also helps with the healing process. I would think if you have difficulty recovering from surgery it would increase the amount of time your in the hospital. They want to make sure your vitals are good and your able to take in fluids and hold them down.
      Leslie Nunes              
Vivian Prouty
on 3/29/12 5:13 am - Fort Worth, TX
RNY on 11/22/05 with
 Phatchick.....I have 2 friends who had VSG surgery this week and both of them took quite some time waking up from surgery.     That is something that is NOT uncommon at all.    Sometimes it could be caused by maybe lack of sleep before the surgery due to stress or other things.     I truly wouldn't worry much about it.    The less things that you worry about now the better off you will be.    Why worry about something that may NEVER happen to you.    Right now you need to be calm and if anything be excited and have anticipation of your NEW lifelong journey that awaits you.    Have a wonderful and blessed day !!!

Hugs and blessings ~~~ Vivian

Vivian Prouty      Obesity Help Support Group Coach  "LOSE IT 4 LIFE"


on 3/29/12 5:16 am - Canada
VSG on 03/20/12
 Anesthesia is hard on the system.... For some people, harder than others.  Everyone reacts differently to anesthesia, and they are prepared for that.   It IS surgery and with surgery there are risks. But more likely to be hit by lightening than actually "not waking up".  We all weigh the risks and benefits ....  And I wouldnt change my decision and it's only been 8 days!


                                                   HW 325     SW 303    CW 245.    GW  170
on 3/29/12 5:40 am - ME
I don't know if my experience has anything to do with this topic, but it may.  My surgery didn't happen the 1st time I tried - I woke up in recovery without having had the surgery.   This was due to too high of a dose of beta blocker - I'd lost weight and the dosage should have been adjusted.  Anyway, before the procedure, I was given a number of pills - antiacids, antibiotic, anti-nausea and a pain med.  Then I got "happy juice" as the anesthesiologist called it, IV.  Because my heart rate went so low, they also gave me IV meds to bring me out of anesthesia quickly.  It took me awhile to really come to and I was still loopy the next day.  When I actually had the surgery 3 weeks later, I declined the "happy juice" as I figured they'd be putting me out in a few minutes anyway.  It was easier to transfer in the OR, but I also woke up more easily and was walking around within less than an hour after leaving recovery.  Just my experience.  You'll do fine, I'm sure!

HW (recorded) 323  Start of Journey 298.9  SW 263.6  CW 177.8  GW 180 
on 3/29/12 5:42 am - MO
VSG on 03/05/12
I'm very sensitive to anesthesia...always have been. I had another abdominal surgery when I was 24 where I was put completely under and my wisdom teeth and vsg...every single one of them I take extra time to wake up. It's just how I am. I think it is generally people who are very sensitive to medications or those with breathing struggles to begin with. Something about how they have to administer the CO2 in your system. My 2 year old girl just had her tonsils and adenoids out and she took a loooonnnggg time to wake up and breathe okay...the anesthesiologist said that it was a complication due to her severe apnea and her "normal" concentration of CO2 in her system.

All that said and done, we were just fine. No extended stays or anything for this. And really neither of us even noticed...we were still out of it. :-D

HW: 350+ (I didn't look after that)  SW: 328  


on 3/29/12 6:24 am - Chula Vista, CA
VSG on 02/06/12
As others are telling you, anesthesia is very hard on the body, on some more than others. If you've never had surgery before, you won't really know until you're there. My VSG was the first surgery I ever had . I did wake up right after surgery, in the recovery room, but I felt soo groggy and "out of it" that my only solace was just sleep through it.

I slept for most of that first day (surgery day). It didnt bother me much, I wasnt nauseous or anything else, just felt sooo tired and sleepy. My family was there chatting all around me, I had some visitors and was never aware that they were there. Like I said, lol, "out of it".

Good luck with your surgery. All in all, this experience was a cakewalk for me and I would do it all over again if I had to!
on 3/29/12 6:43 am - TX
 They keep you in recovery a little longer. That's the only affect on your hospital stay. 
Tonja B.
on 3/29/12 6:48 am - TX
I am one of those who has a hard time waking up after surgery.  I had my sugery at 11:00 in the morning and it took me until 1:00 the next morning to be awake enough to walk around.  My friend had surgery just before me that morning and she was up and walking by mid afternoon.  She came by to see me several times and I had no clue she was there.  Some people just react differently than others.  I can say now while the recover was a little rough on me it was the BEST decision I have ever made!!  Good luck!
on 3/29/12 7:39 am
Smoking has a lot to do with it too. My friend had esophogeaul surgery and was told to stop smoking 4 weeks prior to surgery. She did not and as a result was in a coma essentially for 3 days. They have a window of how long you should be under which takes into account weight and oxygen saturation. Smoking starves your blood because of the carbon monoxide.
on 3/29/12 7:53 am
VSG on 06/07/12
see...and I read that too and had the same thoughts as you.....first of course, OMG! I'm glad they're ok--scary.

But then....I was like.. I wish I didn't wake up so fast....WAIT...I don't mean that I want trouble.....not at's just that I have the opposite problem...I wake up too soon!!!! and that is worse...cuz I know whats going on.   I have woken up in the middle of knee replacement...although not from the knee pain...from the arthritis in my shoulder that they had out to the side for the was KILLIN' me.   go figure......

and then if I don't wake up in the middle of it, I wake up in recovery....can't breath....can't move....can't communicate with anyone and I am in a panic state till someone finally comes to my scary.

The worst though....the very how sick I am after wards...   EVERY TIME. I cannot do the pain pump cuz that makes me sick's so awful.


on 3/29/12 8:11 am - Albuquerque, NM
VSG on 04/24/12
I'm a bit confused about all this because from what I understand the person actually doesn't experience a lapse of time???? 

HW: 351 Pre-op: 272  Current: 140.7 Goal:160      M1:14 M2:14  M3:11  M4:10 M5:10  M6:12  M7:8  M8:6 M9: 6 M10:7 M11: 6 M12: 4 M13: 5 M14:7 M15: 4 M16: 3 M17: 1   M18: 4

"Glory lies in the attempt to reach one's goal and not in reaching it." - Gandhi


on 3/29/12 8:40 am
VSG on 09/13/11 with
I've been an RN in a hospital for 16+ years and have never heard of anyone who "didn't wake up from surgery."  Ever. 

I have heard of rare cases where someone suffered an arrhythmia, stroke or bleeding incident in the OR, but if you are reasonably healthy (and that's why you've had months of pre-op testing), you will most likely be fine.  VSG is an elective surgery.  Surgeons don't like to take risks and would not operate on you if they felt there was a likelihood that you would have a fatal complication.   It is extremely rare for anyone to "code" in the actual OR.  Death a possibility with any surgical procedure, but it is extraordinarily rare.

Think of it this way:  I work in a major urban trauma center.  I would guess that one or two people die in the ER every week from auto accidents.  Many, many more are critically injured.  Our ICU is full of people who have been severely injured in crashes.  But, it is so rare for someone to die at my hospital during routine surgery that I really can't remember it happening, and if it did happen, it wold be the talk of the charge nurse meetings for days.  You are much more likely to die on your way to surgery then you are to die in the OR.  Now that you know this, are you going to avoid driving for the rest of your life?  Are you going to live in fear of traveling in a car?  Heck, don't get me started on bicycle or pedestrian traumas -- they're even worse! 

The more likely possibility is that you could suffer a leak after surgery.  That is the most common complication of sleeve surgery and there are several people on this board who have been unfortunate enough to experience this.  I believe that most eventually recovered and have gone on to have health and success afterwards.

We all take calculated risks in our lives every single day.  Stop listening to these medical geniuses who tell you that their cousin's sister's friend of a friend "didn't wake up from surgery."  They're idiots.  Don't let idiots run your life. 
" I am not at all concerned with appearing to be consistent. In my pursuit after Truth I have discarded many ideas and learnt many new things."  Ghandi            
on 3/29/12 12:23 pm
This is good to know, I keep hearing this too, mostly related to folks with untreated sleep apnea.....
HW: 425    SW: 337   CW: 262 GW: 217 (surgeon)  
Pre-surgery loss; 88 lbs (mostly in my required 6 month insurance class)
on 12/17/13 11:05 am

My sister-in-law had a simple surgery on this past Friday, December 13, 2013 to have tube placed in so she can take

dialysis at home and she never woke from the surgery.  She is still not awake.  Doctors are puzzled because her vitals are good and they can not get her to wake up.  She started have seizures after she did not wake the first day, so they place her in a medical induced coma.  The next day they started trying to bring her out of the coma and it did not work.  Today, we received word from hospital that they placed her back into a medical induced coma because test showed seizures again.  Doctor seems to think her body absorbed too much of the anesthesia.  They stated that they did test and did not indicate a stroke or heart attack and brian functions looked good on scan. She has four specialists that is trying to figure out this situation.

(deactivated member)
on 1/1/14 2:25 pm

What's her status?! I have someone experiencing the same thing after a cardiac surgery.  It's been 5 days.

on 3/29/12 10:01 am
VSG on 07/18/13
 One of the reasons surgeons don't like to do elective procedures on the very obese is that anesthesia is much more difficult for us. First, our extra weight & tendency toward sleep apnea create physical complications that can interfere with breathing (anesthesia usually depresses respiration)

The other reason is that it can be REALLY hard to gauge the right amount of anesthetic to give us. Anesthesia doses are usually titrated based on weight - however, with the morbidly obese they can't do that - it would put many of us into toxic quantities. So, the anesthesiologist must make her best professional judgement...which can result in staying anesthetized longer than expected. "Didn't wake up" means "didn't come out of anesthesia as soon as expected", so they might move you out of recovery to ICU so as to make room for other surgical patients.

on 3/29/12 11:58 am
 I've always had a horrible time waking from surgery so when I had my last surgery (lumpectomy in Feb) they skipped the narcotics and I woke up, slightly groggy and was at the diner in 2 hours having breakfast! Sooooooooo no more narcotics for me during surgery! 
on 4/1/12 3:36 am, edited 4/1/12 3:38 am
VSG on 03/19/12
I am one of those who did not wake up from surgery, when expected.

I did not wake up in recovery.

I have never been a smoker.

I was put in ICU until I woke up.... about 17 hours after surgery.

After I woke up, I recovered quickly.

I left about 3 hours after the originally planned time.  

In summary, I was in recovery 2 hours, ICU 15 hours, regular room for about 6 hours, then discharged.

 HW: 318.6  Pre-surgery Weight: 268.6  CW: 149 Sleeve Date:  March 19, 2012
- 169.6  pounds!  Doctor established medical goal weight = 165. I lost 50 pounds before getting sleeved.  Current BMI = 27  Original starting BMI = `58.3  Tummy Tuck: 01-04-13