But what about the 10%?

One of our readers here, dearieme, has told of an anaesthetic not taking hold, or wearing off perhaps, during surgery. Rather painful thing to happen he says.

Which leads to a wondering about this:

Hypnosis works better than strong anaesthetic and could soon become the norm for elderly people undergoing arthritis operations following a landmark trial.

Medics have hailed the results of a new study where anaesthetic powerful enough to put patients to sleep was successfully replaced with a virtual reality experience.

Participants in need of shoulder, hand or knee operations were given headsets and taken on a virtual submarine tour, with a soothing female voice pointing out various fish and other underwater features.

They had each been given a local anaesthetic, but the virtual reality hypnosis distraction (VRHD) was used to replace the intravenous sedation such patients would normally have got.

This can put people to sleep, but does not induce the full controlled coma of a general anaesthetic.

Doctors at the CUB Erasmus Hospital in Brussels found that the VRHD successfully replaced intravenous sedation in three quarters of patients who had the submarine sedation during the operation.

Meanwhile 90 per cent of those who had VRHD for ten minutes before as well as during the operation did not require intravenous sedation.

Yes, but what about the 10% where it doesn’t work? How far into causing pain does the operation go before it’s possible to work out who that 10% are?

17 thoughts on “But what about the 10%?”

  1. They had local anaesthetic blocks, so they wouldn’t have felt anything. It’s entirely possible to be completely awake during this sort of surgery without VR goggles.

  2. Please can I have this during the conservative leadership election? It’s painful to watch such a collection of tossers, losers, nonentities – largely Remainiac, of course – being trotted out as if they had a chance. We all know that we’ll either get no membership vote, like last time, or there candidate choice will be none existent.

    It would help to have hypnosis as well as being blind drunk all the way through it.

  3. It was much, much worse than “rather painful”: it was undoubtedly a wee bit sore. Yes, that bad!

  4. If they have had a local anaesthetic what is the point of the VR “hypnosis”?

    Hypnosis can indeed be a VERY effective anaesthetic as well as an analgesic but it is an art not a science. Yes there is skill in anaesthetic application –but not as much as is needed to be a hypnotist good enough to control massive pain. What is going on with the patient is a much bigger factor than with drugs/gas. No VR standard program will work for more than say 60-70% of the punters.

    A nice idea but not really workable in a mass standardised procedure setting.

  5. General anaesthetics also block upgrading of short-term memories to long-term memories (or at least do in me), so if you have no memory of experiencing pain during an operation, did you actually experience any pain?
    Of course, a patient experiencing pain at any particular instant will instinctively try to fight back against that pain, whether they then remember it or not, which is why anaestherics also include an action to prevent muscle activity.

  6. I woke up during an ERCP, a tube down the throat procedure. Never mind pain, the gag reflex kicked off, and of course I couldn’t say anything either. Eyelash fluttering finally got someone’s attention and they upped the sedation. I don’t remember how I got home afterwards.

  7. Patients who regain a higher level of consciousness during a GA have a bad anaesthetist in charge, or faulty anaesthetic machine.

    An anaesthetist who is properly monitoring a patient should be aware from vital signs if the level of consciousness is becoming less or the patient showing distress.

    I had an op on a severed nerve in my hand under ring block nerve local anaesthesia. I was offered GA but preferred local. I experienced no pain, but had a dead arm for 12 hours.

  8. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    The only ops I have ever had have been under local anaesthetic. I was offered the full works, but in one case was advised that the surgeon likes to talk to his victims and so I thought it’d be a laugh.

    The injections BLOODY HURT! And I had terrible backache for days after every one.

  9. “How far into causing pain does the operation go before it’s possible to work out who that 10% are? ”

    I would imagine you’d get as far as sticking the scalpel in – that’s probably a pretty good way to determine if someone is sufficiently anesthetized.

  10. The Pedant-General

    “I would imagine you’d get as far as sticking the scalpel in”

    And if you are only under a local you can say something about it. Far more dangerous is the GA that doesn’t quite work – where the pain isn’t taken away and you are fully conscious, but you are essentially paralysed on the table.

  11. Anaesthetic not taking hold

    I’m one:

    Appendix when 15: on trolley, injection & told to count out loud to 10. Me 18,19,20,21….. another injection

    Dentist: Cartridge of anaesthetic (lignocaine?), ouch; another cartridge – ouch; third cartridge – ouch; fourth still hurts

    A&E: Nitrous Oxide – no effect

    I’m short and slim.

    Hypnosis: tried it a few times – didn’t work. Hypnotists said “Can’t hypnotise you as you won’t relax”

    Relax – find it very difficult.

  12. @Ljh

    Nope. Typical NI: dark hair and very pale skin

    Father’s side of family male-line originally from Holland in 1688 (soldier?)

    Mother’s Grandfather was Scottish

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *