« Ibuprofen, Naproxen and other NSAIDs for Alzheimer’s | Main | 8 Practical Tips for Living with Memory Loss »

June 16, 2008


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Surgery, Anesthesia and Memory Loss:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Mona Johnson


Sorry, I'm not qualified to answer your questions. As this post suggests, researchers and doctors are still sorting through this problem.

I hope your grandfather is doing better now.



I am very much like Myra. I had my inflammed gallbladder taken out almost 2 months ago and my memory is foggy, I still can't recall even simple words in a conversation. It's embarassing. And I'm still sleeping a lot at times. This is a real concern for me because I'm a teacher and have to remember things all the time. Any help?

Victoria Klups

I am a 36 year old female.After a bothched abdominal hysterectomy, I needed an abdominal bladder repair surgery. Complications the day after the bladder repair surgery, I needed another abdominal ureter repair surgery. I did loose alot of blood (readings were 6)and needed a transfusion. I have barely any memory of the 6 day hospital stay, which is understandable. I am now 3 weeks postop, I am completely forgetful, I can not remember people that come over or call, and I loose hours in a day. I constantly call my better half, so he knows what I am doing, and where I am at. Why is this happening.


My uncle, whom had surgery more than 5 years ago still can not function mentally after his surgery. The cancer was removed in time luckily but the surgery has left him with no-short term memory. Please help and share any research or information you can. He is young and has little children and a wife that still won't give up hope. Doctors said that it may have to do with the anesthesia and lack of oxygen during the surgery. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help him in this situation.


Mona Johnson

Victoria and Mehnaz,

Thanks for your comments. I'm sorry to hear about these problems. If I see any new information, I'll be sure to post it.



My husband is 37 recently had knee surgury othoscopic and was in about 45 mins the surguery went fine no complications but he's been having memory loss and can't remember what he did or said at times and he occationally repeats things It's been about 3 weeks what should we do

Mona Johnson


I'm sorry to hear about your husband. I've not seen any information about what to do if you experience post-surgery memory loss, but will post any info I come across in the future. Perhaps your doctor has some suggestions...

Best wishes for your husband's speedy recovery!



I definitely had bad cognitive problems after my surgery in January 2006, when I was 30. It was removal of teeth under general anaesthetic, I was under for about 45 minutes. I have discovered several things in the last year or so related to that, which are a bit worrying.

1. The drug Versed (midazolam) is routinely administered to people for all kinds of procedures. It is a powerful amnesiac and while most anaesthetists will tell you the effects are very short-term, you do find people who are more sensitive to it and it can have lasting effects. I got my doctor to write on my record never to administer this drug to me again.

2. If nitrous oxide is given, it can deplete B12 levels, causing deficiency symptoms (including cognitive ones) until the person consumes enough B12 to restore levels.

3. Early 2006 was, by my calculations, when my symptoms of pernicious anemia also started - probably not helped by the general anaesthetic. It took three years before I started receiving B12 injections. In the meantime I was extremely worried that I had developed early-onset dementia, as I had all the classic symptoms. However, because my serum B12 levels were just a little above the Officially Deficient level, my doctor simply told me to eat more meat. I did research on my own and asked for a holotranscobalamin test, which came back quite deficient, and very raised homocysteine, and with a note from the pathologist to check for antibodies. I turned out to have intrinsic factor antibodies. My doctor then insisted that one injection every three months is sufficient to treat autoimmune pernicious anemia. Again, being the stubborn and curious person I am, i did more research, and found that while there are few clinical trials, that the prominent medical researchers on B12 as well as the most educated lay researchers all recommended dosing by symptoms, not labs. This is because if you have no or impaired intrinsic factor, your ability to store and recycle B12 is severely limited. And younger people tend to have greater energy requirements, as well as greater muscle mass, thus requiring even more B12. I need 1 B12 injection a week to stay away from cognitive decline, neuropathy, and depression.

My conclusion from all that is that the reference ranges for vitamin B12 can only be a rough guideline at best when treating certain conditions, and that the lower limit of the reference range is far too low. I often wonder how many dementia, multiple sclerosis, depression, schizophrenia, etc diagnoses are really caused by not treating B12 deficiencies because of this. I've heard from other people with pernicious anemia that they have insisted their doctor start their elderly parent who has dementia on B12 injections, and find that they have significant improvements. I try not to be one of those people that evangelises their own 'miracle cure' but I do really wonder! :)


My mother had emergency surgery three weeks ago and has just been released from CCU after a bit of pneumonia. I've noticed that she is confused and forgetful. I'm hoping it's due to the surgery and she'll bounce back.
With so many people on this thread alone with various backgrounds and ages, I'm becoming increasingly shocked that this isn't a bigger concern. Actually, I'm angry that this isn't a bigger concern. Not sure on the stats but surgery over the course of a lifetime has to be a high probability. With an aging America and longer life spans, we have to be aware of what can happen so we can make informed decisions on surgery.
I never had my wisdom teeth removed and figured I'd have to do that soon enough. Now I'm not so sure. Do I want to take chances? My father has Alzheimer's so would I be at a higher risk? My mom has had several surgeries and was even in a coma for a week long before I was around. Does that have anything to do with this confusion? So many questions and no where near enough people working to find answers.

Andrea Labrum

Hello, I have read all of your comments and would like to tell you what happened to my 70 year old father 3 years ago. He was found to have bladder cancer and had non invasive surgery however the cancer came back and the consultant decided it would be best for my father to have a general anaesthetic so to avoid any discomfort. However after the operation my father started having panic attacks and had lost his short term memory. He was incredibly confused and this whole situation has distressed him and my mother immensely. My father has now got to have this operation again and our whole family are very concerned about this. He has been offered a spinal block/epidural but the doctor is worried about my fathers blood pressure during this procedure. Is there any advice or reassurance you could give me regarding this forthcoming operation.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner