Gazelle asked in HealthMental Health · 2 months ago

Severe panic disorder and surgery?

Is suffer from severe panic disorder and have to go for an operation. The injury is a very bad fracture of my ancle. The procedure is an ORIF. I am a healthy 32 year old female. I smoke but have no other illnesses except severe panic disorder. First surgery ever. As you can only imagine i am extreamly anxious about the surgery. The doctor confirmed a spinal will be done and that they will sedate met with 1mg Ativan. I will be awake but drowsy and calm. Q: what if i suffer a panic attack in theater. Will they be able to calm me down so that i do not freak out? I am also worried that my vitals will spike as my heart rate and bp always does when i am anxious? Any feedback to calm my racing thoughts?? Much appreciated.

11 Answers

  • Naguru
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Once you are admitted in the  hospital as a patient, you will be given adequate care by the doctors and nurses. Listen to their good words of advice obediently. Need not have unnecessary fears or doubts. Trust the hospital people. Control your negative imaginations.

  • Edna
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    I've had at least 3 different surgeries. You will NOT have a panic attack during surgery and your heart rate will NOT spike. There's no reason why they should. You'll be completely unaware of anything that is going on during surgery. You'll be OUT!!. 

    You'll be given Ativan or Versed  initially via an IV line, to "knock you out". After you're  completely "out",you will  be administered general anesthesia through a tube down your throat to KEEP you out. But you won't be aware of that either. By the time the tube is introduced, you'll be completely asleep.


    Ativan and Versed are what's know as "conscious sedation". It's  POSSIBLE that, during it's administration,  the doctor could talk to you and you could mumble "yes" or "no" in response, or even move your extremities slightly, But, if you did; you would never be aware of having done so. Once one of those drugs hits you, you won't be aware of anything  that happens from that point forward.

    Believe me - you have nothing to be concerned about. You won't feel or know a thing, until you wake up in the Recovery Room and a nurse is asking you if you would like to have a glass of ice water, or maybe a Coke, or maybe some orange juice. It will be like you just blinked your eyes and the surgery is all over. You won't even feel "drugged up" afterward.

  • 1 month ago

    Overdose on opiates ALL DAY, EVERYDAY for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. Problem solved.

  • Tawny
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    I completely understand how you feel as I too suffer from terrible and crippling anxiety. Trust me when I say you will be absolutely fine and it won’t be as bad or as scary as you might think. At first it will be daunting, of course it will but that’s a perfectly normal response for all people. I remember having my tonsils out about 5 years ago, it was my first ever operation too. We’re the same age by the way, I’m 32 as well. Let me tell you I was so so anxious that I didn’t think I could go through with it, but the medical team are so good and experienced at helping patients feel at ease. They’ll do things at your pace and they’ll help keep you calm. As I say, I was extremely anxious, I was in tears and everything because I just kept thinking ‘I can’t do this’ but I did and you can too. Once it’s all over the sense of relief and achievement makes it all worthwhile. I also had an endoscopy 3 years ago and I was honestly terrified about that. I just couldn’t imagine having a camera put down my throat and into my stomach whilst I was awake so they gave me a wonderful enhanced sedation which is the next best thing to an anaesthetic and you wake up not remembering a thing about the procedure, it’s amazing. I literally had no recollection whatsoever. It was like someone flicked a switch and I was gone, next thing I was waking up in recovery. If I can do it, I’m sure you can. Perhaps see if they can give you the enhanced sedation. The medical team knew how anxious I was so they suggested I might feel more comfortable with enhanced and I did.  It’s worth an ask if it helps you. Honestly, once it’s all done and dusted you’ll be wondering what you were so worried about. Wishing you lots of luck. You’ll be fine. If you have any more questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you x

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  • Chanel
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Hello. Years ago a person said to me "nothing is ever as bad as what it seems" and I haven't forgotten cos it has been true whenever I have had a problem.

    I do not know if you have informed the medical staff but you need to let them know how scared you are cos anxiety is so crippling but the medics know that and they will reassure you.

    You are so worried that you are feeling overly anxious. But when it is all over you will be glad and will not have to worry about that again.

    You are in my prayers but I know that your mind will not be at ease until it is all over.

    I wish you the best of luck sweetheart.

  • TedEx
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Prior to surgery you will ( or already have) met with the anesthesiologist. That would be a time to address your concerns.

  • 1 month ago

    I find it hard to believe that someone under the anesthesia required for surgery would have a panic attack, but as someone here said, you can discuss this before the surgery.

    If you're interested, I have information about treatments for panic disorder in my recent answers, about standard treatments with office visits and self-help. You're welcome to click on my name and read.

    A Johns Hopkins researcher who underwent surgeries after a serious accident wrote a book about his experience, In Pain. The book has useful information about pain management and the problem of withdrawal from pain-killing drugs. He said that the lack of good advice from doctors was disappointing. 

    NPR interview

    He said that he finally found good advice for withdrawal in this CDC guide -

  • 1 month ago

    First, I will assume that you have a regular licensed mental health provider if you have been diagnosed with a severe panic disorder and you are being treated for this.  If I am wrong, then there is another option for you. 

    It is IMPORTANT that you have an outpatient visit with your surgeon BEFORE the surgery and explain your condition to him or her.  Perhaps the Ativan medication can be administered to you on a daily basis BEFORE the surgery and perhaps you may need MORE of the Ativan prior to the surgery.

    Remember that sometimes, medical conditions require specialized treatment before a surgery.  And if the surgeon will work with your anesthesiologist to circumvent a problem, you can look forward to the procedure going smoothly and without incident.

    You need to bring this to the surgeon's attention BEFORE the operation.

    I wish you all the best.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    If the ativan isn't enough to calm you they'll simply give you more of it or add in another sedative such as midazolam. As you aren't having a general anaesthetic they'll be a nurse beside you the whole time to talk to and keep you calm.

  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    No possibility of having a panic attack the sedation will make you very whoozy, your vitals are checked on a monitor, nothing will happen.

    I've had sedation it's lovely.

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