Ms and general anaesthetic

Hi there,

I just wanted some advice. I have ms and was diagnosed in 2012, I have had a few relapses whilst on Copaxone, I was due to change treatment at the end of January 2016 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer on the 6th January 2016, so obviously the new treatment has had to go on the back burner for now. I have had 2 minor operations since December 2015, both under general anaesthetic, only for an hour each time, so apart from fatigue which is normal this hasn’t affected my ms much, although after my minor op yesterday, my body feels numb, this is a symptom of my ms but it seems slightly worse than normal, maybe due to the op.

My concern is that my next op (mastectomy and reconstruction) is 5-7 hours long and I am really not sure how this will affect the ms, they did say I would be fatigued due to the nature of the op etc, but I am really not sure what to expect ms wise, this obviously isn’t my main concern at the moment however thought it would be best to get all the facts beforehand.

So my question is, sorry for the long winded message, has anyone else had to have a long operation and how did this affect you ms wise? I am wondering if this will prolong my recovery. I was going to ask my ms nurse but thought it would be best checking with anyone who has gone through this first.

Thank you for your time

Kelly xx

Hi Kelly

I am so sorry to hear of your news. I have 3 members of my family who have gone through similar cancer and its a tough time so I’m not surprised your MS seems worse due the stress and worry.

I have had minor ops and felt fine but I was speaking to a lady who was having her Tysabri infusion at the same time as me. She had recently had her hips replaced, we chatted as I have had both of mine replaced. I asked her how she felt after the op due to her MS. She was tired and a little uncomfortable for a few weeks but she said her MS did not worsen.

I really hope it all goes well for you and your op goes well and everything improves for you.

Be thinking of you xx

Hi Pops,

Thank you for your reply. I have tried not to get too stressed as I know this impacts on ms, but like you say it is a tough time.

Oh that is good to hear, I know everyone’s different but that has put my mind at ease, I’ll be having plenty of rest so that will help.

Thank you, I am sure everything will work out fine. Got to stay positive!

Thank you for your positive message xx

Hello, sorry to hear life not the easiest at the moment. I have heard that a general anaesthetic can trigger MS in the first place, (my ms first showed its head about 6 weeks after an opp!) I was in hospital a few weeks ago and ended up having to have an opp, they wanted me to have general anaesthetic, as they felt it was safer than a spinal block, (they were happy to give me general but i had to sign something to say that i understood the risks of a spinal block-as that is what i opted for!) Yet in the past another dr has said that a spinal block is fine!! i think to be honest that not enough is really known, but the consultant anaesthetist and ms consultant both recommended a general to me, so im sure you will be fine. with everything else that is going on in your life at the moment i think it would be impossible to pin point any relapse or worsening symptoms on any one thing! ( i was however led to believe that any side effects effecting the ms would be almost immediate.) Sorry probably have not helped much, but i think if it were not ok you would have been warned even if its only a case of the lesser of two evils,

hope all goes well, good luck, keep smiling!!

Hello , I had a general for an op and was out for a couple of hours, it upset my MS quite badly - I had significant relapse. I was told by my consultant everyone is different and we react differently to anaesthetics… but then I had a tonsillectomy when I was 5 and spent 3 weeks in hospital - so I guess its just me!

Good luck