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For those of you who have had surgery, how long were you on the ventilator?

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epstns

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Ray - I think the real question you seem to be asking is "How long after regaining consciousness were you on the ventilator?" I re-stated your question because, to most of us, it really didn't matter that we were on the vent if we were still totally under anesthesia.

In my own case, I remember extremely little before being told "Cough. It will help the tube come out." After that, no vent. Real consciousness and removal of the vent were near simultaneous. I really have no memory of being in a bed and being on the ventilator.

If you have fears about the vent, discuss them with your anesthesiologist. They can help manage things so that you have as little time on the vent as possible.
 

tprice54

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I only woke up once with the tube in, moved a bit and they put me right back out.....my first total awakening with eyes open, the tube was already gone.
 

RobThatsMe

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1st surgery... During the night after my surgery earlier in the day.
2nd surgery... The next morning after surgery.
 

ChicagoMammy

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Similar to what the others said. I remember waking up and trying to talk and move with the vent in. They came straight over and took it out.
 

GaryR

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As above, eyes open tube in, blinked and tube out.

Well at least that's how fast the time went while your still under and very sleepy.

I have to add, that for me there was NEVER any pain or any discomfort was dealt with immediately when in ICU and very swiftly once out.
 

escargome

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Same thing here. Started to wake, hubby told me not to talk as tube was in, second later ICU nurse said cough, I did, tube out. Back to sleep. Don't remember feeling any discomfort. All I remember was that I was truly hot, wrote "HOT" on notepad my husband had, nurse brought cool wash cloth. Everything was good.
 

Julian

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I think I was on it for like 6 or 7 hours and I really don't remember it. People said I woke up shortly after surgery and gave some friends and family a thumbs up while on the pump. I don't remember this. I know I didn't try to fight it or was even aware of it really. The next thing I remember was the nurse and the assistant mentioning its time or I'm ready and me coughing and it coming out and me going back to sleep. It was really a non issue for me. The drain tube and cath removal were a lot more memorable to me.
 

hook

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I woke up about three hours after the surgery, only because my cath baloon was over inflated. It felt like my bladder was going to explode. After they got picture that something was not right, they let me scrible on a pad the phrase "pee". They deflated the bag and I was back in lala land until early morning.

If possible make sure you have a family member there to watch you, and all will be ok.
 

Luana

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Waking up after heart surgery is nothing like waking up after any other surgery: it takes a very long time. You'll mostly be floating in and out of consciousness before you fully wake up, probably for several hours. In addition to the anesthesia, you'll be sedated, so when you do finally wake up, it's not like the fully awake feeling like you have now.

Were it not for the taste of plastic in my mouth (and knowing beforehand), I probably would not have known I was still on the ventilator. It didn't feel bad or uncomfortable, and this was a concern for me, too, before surgery. After being awake for about an hour, the nurse removed the tube; it was 5 or 6 pm, quite a few hours after surgery was over. It didn't hurt or cause any discomfort. She also gave me a cup of ice chips that were very enjoyable.
 

Ray Norsworthy

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Reading these makes me feel better. I have close to a phobia about not being able to breathe. Come to think of it, I guess most humans do! Haha.
 

Mentu

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Ray, in the ICU your consciousness will be cushioned by a lot of drugs. I remember the breathing tube being removed but it took only a moment and was no big deal. In fact nothing was a big deal; it just was. What I remember is being able to respond to commands and feeling like doing nothing else but drifting back off to sleep. For me, waking came about 2 days after surgery and by then the breathing tube was long gone.

Larry
 

Jkm7

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Two surgeries here and if at any time I remembered anything about the vent from the first, I do not now.

Second surgery, I woke with it in place and nurse put me right back out. Next memory I have of being awake, the vent had been removed. I don't remember them removing it either time.
 

kerri73

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The one I had in 97 they kept me on it a while. It was somewhat torture. :) This last time it wasn't as bad - the first surgery I had they were ready to take it out just as I was waking up, and thankfully the hubby remembered I wanted a pic with all the tubes in, and we waited a few minutes to get that taken before it came out. I barely remember it.

The 2nd surgery (a week later) it stayed in longer... I remember being awake on it for a few hours... it's not fun, but it's for your own good, and the surgeon usually determines how long they want you to stay on, based on how long you were on the ventilator. In hindsight it's no biggie though. It's more the mental thought of it all that gets to you. Make sure they numb your throat if you do end up being awake for a bit... but not with the banana flavored stuff. lol. :) (I don't remember it coming out that time either, and it was nowhere near as bad as the 97 round, which I'm sure comes with advancements and testing, etc). :)
 

MaryC

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Ray,
I agree with Steve. This is an important conversation to have with the anesthesiologist before your surgery. I asked my anestesiologist if he had ever had a patient more afraid of the waking up with the ventilator than the surgery itself. I asked him if he could give me versed to ensure I wouldn't remember anything with the tube. He let me know that he was not comfortable taking the tube out before he knew I was breathing on my own but he took care of me because I have no memory of it.
 

middleman

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When I woke up from the surgery I couldn’t see and I had the tube in. I could hear my wife next to me and holding my hand. The pain was intense and it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest and I was breathing through a straw. I started to wave my hand over my chest and flashed my fingers to say that my pain was a ten. Then I heard the anesthesiologist tell my wife that my pain level was high. He then told me fight the tube out. A moment later he pulled the tube and my pain went away. The pain was replaced by thirst and I really wanted a big glass of water and all they would let me have was ice chips. That was hard to be that thirsty and only getting small ice chips. :eek:
 

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