I just read your post about the epidural. I am due to have an RC this Friday the 22nd. My doc is also wanting to do the epidural. My wife and i were wondering about if they left the epidural in after surgery. We now know they do. Is the 4 or 5 days normal? and after they removed it how would you rate your pain on a 1 to 10 scale?
I had a radical cystectomy about 5 weeks ago with a neobladder. My Urologist, too, recommended an epidural. I had questions that I wanted to ask the Anesthesiologist and, since I was admitted the day before the surgery, I had expected that he would visit me before I was taken to the OR. Well, they came to take me and I simply refused to go until I talked with the anesthesiogist in my room where I knew I would not be under the influence of any pre-op medications. He did come to my room where both me and my husband could address concerns that we had. It did cause my surgery to be delayed by a half an hour, but I felt I had the right to have my questions answered (I had a list that I had prepared.)
So, to answer your basic question--I say "YES"--have the epidural!!! It was started after the general anesthetic was begun so I felt nothing. The value of having no pain for the first 4 or 5 days post-op was a Godsend, believe me.
Sure, there are some side effects that could occur, but they are more to do with the instillation of the catheter--just make sure it is done by a qualified anesthioligist and the other would be an allergy to the medication used so ask what they will use (I believe it was morphine for me).
Yes, they did get me up the day after surgery to sit in a chair and several days later to walk in the hallway. The epidural had no effect on my ability to support myself or move my legs. Now I happened to step on the tubing and pulled the Foley catheter with the ureteral stints, but this can be blamed on the fact that they had not taped the foley to my leg to secure it.
You asked for advice--As one who has had an epidural, I say definitely go for it.
My husband will undergo a radical custectomy with bladder reconstruction on April 3, if the cancer hasn't spread, otherwise there will a stoma.
The surgeon advised him to get an epidural, probably because with the TUR he had quite a bit of back pain. This was caused partly by the soft beds in the hospital and partly because being a weak spot. Because the tumor blocks one of the kidneys he may also have pain from that. There are probably [u]side effects from an epidural, so we like to know the pros and cons[/u]. A secondary questions is: The hospital staff advised that on the second or third day the patient needs to walk, will an epidural prevent this?
Thanks for the advice it is much appreciated
Take care, Renee