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Dr Uzair
Dr Uzair, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 7330
Experience:  MBBS, FCPS (R) General Surgery. Years of experience in Emergency Medicine.
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I had an epidural for knee replacement surgery & was extremely

Resolved Question:

I had an epidural for knee replacement surgery & was extremely ill for weeks afterwards with chronic breathlessness & nausea. Was this a side effect of the epidural?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Uzair replied 3 years ago.
Dr Uzair :

Hi

Dr Uzair :

Do you still have the symptoms?

Dr Uzair :

Please use reply to respond.

Customer:

The knee surgery was in February this year so I am back to normal now but it's been a very hard long road to get better.

Dr Uzair :

Alright. The symptoms you have are not side effects of Epidural anesthesia.

Dr Uzair :

The usual side effects are hypotension (postural), headaches and backache at the site of insertion.

Dr Uzair :

These effects are only present till the time the catheter is in place and epidural is being administered.

Dr Uzair :

Epidural for knee surgery is given at the level of the Lumbar spine or lower back and that does not affect the chest nor does it cause breathlessness. Nausea is not a common side effect of Epidural.

Dr Uzair :

Your symptoms can be due to use of antibiotics, being bed ridden which can cause chest problems.

Dr Uzair :

Blood loss or low hemoglobin after surgery can also be a cause of nausea and breathlessness together.

Dr Uzair :

DVT is a potential cause but I am glad that it has been ruled out.

Dr Uzair :

Knee surgery causes immobilization and can cause basal atelectasis of the lungs which can lead to chronic breathlessness if not treated effectively in a timely fashion.

Dr Uzair :

Do you have more questions?

Customer:

I do not know what atelectasis is but at no point was I immobile; in hospital for only 3 days I was expected to get out of bed and move about the day after surgery. The breathlessness was apparent on that second day which made me think I had reacted badly to something involved in the op. My body does react very negatively to antibiotics but I was heavily pressured to take them despite my protests. But can you still be reacting to antibiotics after 3 weeks??!!

Dr Uzair :

No, you can not react to antibiotics once they have been discontinued.

Dr Uzair :

The cause of your breathlessness and nausea can only be ruled out effectively by your Primary surgeon. Since the requires a detailed analysis of the scenario.

Dr Uzair :

But according to literature and experience, I can tell you that Epidural anesthesia will not cause breathlessness or nausea as a side effect.

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