Surgeons Question Surgery’s Impact on Brain

A fervent believer in a condition dubbed post-operative cognitive decline (POCD), Hogan said it’s time for surgeons to stop ignoring the evidence and begin developing a thorough and reasonable informed consent process to address these risks. Surgeons, while generally rejecting the “denier” mantle, are also cautious about embracing a new syndrome — especially one that might reflect poorly on their profession…

“I would disagree that cardiac surgeons are routinely discussing cognitive dysfunction,” said Robbin Cohen, MD, associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.”I don’t tell patients there’s a risk they’re not going to remember their passwords or their grandchild’s birthday. Who would submit to an operation after that?” …

“We’ve taken for granted for so many years that all of these anesthetic agents are so safe, and that all they’re doing is putting you to sleep and then waking you up. It seems like that should be such a natural thing. But you know, the reality of it is we’re artificially suppressing the nervous system.

“And it turns out that a lot of these medications are probably much more dangerous than we anticipated and probably have both short and long term effects that we really haven’t thought about, or maybe had attributed to the surgery and the heart lung machine,” Cohen said.

One thought on “Surgeons Question Surgery’s Impact on Brain

  1. Wow. Good to know that surgeons are starting to admit to this. Now if only anesthesiologists…

    My last several surgeries…even bilateral hernias…have been done by my insistence with local. I have taken the sedation, though, and I notice a striking difference in my cognitive function that has not gone away even years later. It’s a huge problem.

    I’m glad that no one uses halothane much anymore, but propofol seems to have replaced it, and I’m noticing a lot of propofol related cognitive blunting in myself and others, very concerning.

    Not to knee-jerk and withdraw general anesthesia! But definitely something to be aware of, and be more proactive when discussing anesthetic choices for planned surgeries. Used to be we got to actually have a consult with the anesthesiologist…now one is lucky to catch a glimpse of them. Really not good.

    Thanks for another great informative post!

    Liked by 2 people

If you don't comment, I'll just assume you agree with me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s