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Is it safe to have surgery if you are coughing?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm scheduled for surgery on the 20th. Right before Christmas, I got a head cold. It's since gone into my sinuses (I guess). I have a lot of drainage, congestion in my chest, and a nasty cough. I've already been to my PCP and had a prescription, but it did no good at all. My PCP is not in the office this week or I would go back to see him. I could go to see his partner in the practice, but I don't like him and would rather not.

I plan on calling the doctor's office who is doing the surgery tomorrow. I've been hoping that it will clear up before next Wednesday, but I just don't feel any better at all. In the meantime, I thought I would see if anyone on here has experienced something similar and what happened.

Also, does anyone have any good home remedies to stop a cough?? Even if it weren't for the surgery, I'm totally sick of it.
post #2 of 12
No, it is not safe! At least, no kind of abdominal surgery anyway.

Anesthesia is rough on the lungs. I had to have a series of surgeries in my twenties (female stuff) I was so debilitated already, that every time they took blood before a surgery I would get sick, and ahve to postpone the surgery.

And after surgery they always had me doing these deep breathing exercises with these machines that measured how much breath I was using. And cough. Someone was always telling me to cough.

Hope you feel better before next week.
post #3 of 12
I had to have a big hip surgery about 10 years ago, and started to get a cold a few days before. I went totally off food and drank only water and chicken noodle soup. Like 5 GALLONS. In two days, the cold was gone. Unfortunately it didn't progress like yours, but it's worth a try...???
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks. It's not major surgery, just removing a kidney stone. No cutting involved, but there will be general anesthesia. I bought some lemons at the store to make some lemon tea, and I'll call the doctor tomorrow to see what they say. I figured for sure I would be done with this by now, but then that's how my luck runs.

I'm all for postponing it, the stone is not bothering me at the moment.
post #5 of 12
General anesthesia isn't recommended if you have a productive cough or are running a temp. You might be able to have your stone removed under spinal. Call the surgery center and ask to talk to the Anesthesiologist. They should be able to give you some guidance. Do you know if you're having a laser lithotripsy, basket extraction or extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)? Any of those can be done under spinal anesthesia. ESWL can be done under sedation.
post #6 of 12
Speaking from TONS of experience with surgeries, it is NOT safe to have any type of surgery if you have been or are sick, especially if you are having that nasty cough. As I'm sure you already know, when they put you under, they will stick a tube down your throat so that a machine will breathe for you. When you wake up, it is very hard and painful to cough, believe me. And from my experience when I wake up from surgeries I have a lot of nasty crap that comes up when I cough, and if you are sick I can only imagine how much worse that would make it. Plus it is not safe for the people around you. You will be in a medical setting, and in general people are not advised to go to any hospitals or anyplace where there may be people that are more succeptible (sp?) to illness, such as a hospital. That is why they have the masks in boxes when you walk into hospitals, so that you don't infect the people around you.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
General anesthesia isn't recommended if you have a productive cough or are running a temp. You might be able to have your stone removed under spinal. Call the surgery center and ask to talk to the Anesthesiologist. They should be able to give you some guidance. Do you know if you're having a laser lithotripsy, basket extraction or extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)? Any of those can be done under spinal anesthesia. ESWL can be done under sedation.
Basket extraction.

Believe me, I am all for postponing this until I stop coughing, if I ever do.
post #8 of 12
I would honestly to talk to your doctor about rescheduling your surgery. I don't think it's a good idea for a patient to be put under anestesia or have any kind of non-emergency surgery if they are already ill. Recovery might be harder if you're already immuno-compromised, that and anestesia can be more risky. If you've had it for a while it could be spreading in your lungs. You need to have it checked out before you have surgery.

To err on the side of caution I would talk to your doctor and see about having some blood work done ahead of time to see how well you might tolerate the surgery/anestesia as well. They can also do several tests and a white blood cell count test as well that will show them your WBC#'s and help them determine if you're fighting off an infection,etc....but if you have fever/etc from kidney issues...that my be elevated already so it's not 100% fool proof...but a safer start! ) good luck!
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the advice. I intend to call the urologist today, and I'm inclined to ask them if I can postpone it. I don't feel bad other than sinus draining, causing cough, but I don't really want to do the surgery until I'm 100% better. I just have a fear that this is going to one of those things that drag on for months. That stone isn't bothering me right now, but last week it was miserable.
post #10 of 12
Having worked in surgery for many years, I can tell you that it largely depends on what the cough is from. If you have the flu and are running a temperature and coughing up a lung with lots of secretions, then no, it's not safe. They could still do it, but it increases the risks: It's not the cough that increases the risks, it's the fever and secretions.

However, having a cold and a dry cough doesn't necessarily exclude you from having surgery. I've seen many people with a cold have surgery and they all did very well.

Also, after surgery they expect you to cough! At least 3 times every 20 minutes while you are awake in order to keep your lungs expanded. The right way to cough after any kind of surgery is by holding a pillow or stuffed animal tightly against your abdomen when you cough, and the cough needs to come from the gut like something punched you. Anything less results in just a clearing of the throat and does nothing for the lungs.

However, as with anything medically related to you, you should talk to your doctor and let him decide what the right situation is for you.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Natalie_ca for your expertise.

I spoke with the nurse at the doctor's office and she told me that they like to wait until it gets closer to the surgery and then have the anesthiologist check your lungs. It's just a dry hacking cough from sinus drainage, never had a fever, don't have the flu, just started with a head cold 4 weeks ago and morphed into this. I'm going to see my PCP on Monday (he wasn't in the office this week) and see what he says. I will also go to see the doctor who is performing the surgery and/or anesthiologist Tuesday if it comes to that.

I wish they had just let me reschedule
post #12 of 12
I to am due to have a general in two weeks but have suffered an extremely annoying cough for six weeks now and it still doesn't seem ready to leave me . I ve had two courses of antibiotics but these didnt do anything . I am doubting I will be well enough to under go my surgery . I hope you get better soon and wish you well for your op .
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