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Is it ok to have general anesthesia for rotator cuff surgery with nasal congestion ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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I have had nasal congestion with thick green/yellow mucous for 3 months or so now, and visited my doctor 2 days ago, who put me on amoxicillin and a steroid nasal spray. I am due to have rotator cuff surgery (shoulder) on Monday 8 August, which involves a nerve block but may involve a general anesthetic as well. Is it ok to have general anesthesia with nasal congestion if I do not have much chest congestion, ie. not coughing up anything.
Posted Thu, 3 May 2012 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 44 minutes later
Hello,

Thanks for posting your query.

The symptoms of nasal congestion and yellow mucus is suggestive of chronic sinusitis. There is no problem in administrating the general anesthesia as the sinuses are bypassed while giving the GA.

However it is advisable that you should get the chronic sinusitis also treated as you are having symptoms since three months.

You need to take the antibiotics as prescribed by your physician. However the golden rule for chronic sinus congestion is steam inhalation.

Inhaling steam from a bowl of hot (but not boiling water) may help to soften, and loosen, the build up of mucus in your nose. This will lessen the congestion. So do it 2-3 times a day.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries. Wishing you good health.

Regards.









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Follow-up: Is it ok to have general anesthesia for rotator cuff surgery with nasal congestion ? 1 hour later
thanks for your answer. Is the reason that anesthetists are sometimes reluctant to treat you that if there is mucous in the throat, or mucous that could move to the throat, that you could inhale this into the lungs or that it might block the airway? I am wondering about why congestion might be a concern.
Also, would a nerve block with a sedative that might make me sleepy be an alternative to a general; would the problem that exists with a general still be a problem with a sedative plus nerve block?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 11 hours later
Hello,

Thanks for writing back.

It is true that anesthetists are reluctant to give anesthesia during any kind of surgery if you are having mucus in the throat as it may get inhaled in the lung and cause aspiration.

However for chronic sinus infection which you are having, giving general anesthesia bypasses the nose and the anesthetist puts a tube in your throat to help you breathe while you’re under general anesthesia. When this tube is put, it is seen that cuffing occurs which does not allow any mucus to drain from the nose into the throat.

Ideally sinus infection should always be treated before surgery but it is not an absolute contraindication for general anesthesia.

You can opt for nerve block also and an interscalene brachial plexus block (ISB) can provide complete regional anesthesia for shoulder surgery and has been used frequently. You can talk about this nerve block with your operating surgeon.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries. Wishing you good health.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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