Has Anyone Had A General Anaesthetic After Parkinson's Diagnosis?



I may need to undergo a knee operation, as my knee-caps  are in a very bad state. However, I have read that people with a disease originating  in the brain, such as Parkinson's, should avoid a general anaesthetic, as it could have a disastrous effect on the condition and make it suddenly worse.

Has anyone received a general anaesthetic and found whether their Parkinson's symptoms got suddenly worse or not?

Of course the solution would be to have the operation with a local anaesthetic, but how does one find an orthopaedic surgeon who would agree to it?

Regards to all


I have had two operations after diagnosis. General anaesthetic is no problem, it is often the stay in hospital that could be problematic, especially if it is prolonged and you are on PD drugs and you are not allowed to self medicate and do not get your drugs on time.  I was allowed to self medicate, but at the time I only took Pramipexole and the timings for this are not sensitive.  Levodopa can be a bit trickier as it has to be given by mouth ( you usually have to stop drinking anything a few hours before the operation) and the relative short time intervals that are needed to relieve PD symptoms can more easily clash with the operation. but do not worry,think of all the people who have had DBS treatment. They usually get full anaesthetic after the first part of their inplant operation is over. and these people are well advanced into the disease. Nowadays a lot of operations are done with an epidural anyway and that could easily happen in your case, wait until you get all the details of what the operation entails. You will get an opportunity to talk to the anaesthesist before the operation. They are very skilled people.

I did not have any setbacks.


Hi, Kate,

Thank you ever so much for your answer. You seem to have covered all aspects and managed to reassure me. I really appreciate it.

Take care


Hi Redpoppy,

Kate is right.

It may surprise you to know that many surgeons fit replacement knees with an epidural anaesthetic nowadays!

And for all patients , not just those with neurological conditions. 2 of my friends have had them done in this way.

My husband had all his toes straightened with an epidural and an ankle block.

Just ask at the next appt and you may well be reassured that a general is no longer necessary.

Good luck!




yeh i had dbs no problem  with general! just a great 9hr sleep smile


Hi, Goldengirl and Gus,

I would like to thank you for your input. I am very grateful !!

I will certainly make enquiries about the possibility of knee replacement with an epidural.

A hug to you both.


no worries


Hello Redpoppy

                             I had a series of painfull bowel examinations back in    94---96, then another in 98, and it was early 99 I was told I had PD  I was also informed that it was inadvisable to have GA  when I had PD,but I did not know I had parky when  I was  undergoing those exams, though I admit I did not  feel right for some time after each one, so proceed with caution, in my opinion the GA accelerated PD until I was past the point of no return, by then it was underway, sorry if this worries you but I would be failing in my duty to all my friends if I  did not bring it to you attention.

                           Regards  Fed


do you think locals have the same affect ,fed


Sorry to say that after a recent hernia op under GA, my parkinsons has worsened considerably sad face


Hi redpoppy,

Just as everyone with P experiences different symptoms, progression, and reactions to medication, the same is true of undergoing an operation under GA. I have had very different reactions on coming around.

However, 3  years ago OH underwent a major operation; was able to take their levodopa with a small sip of water last things before going down to theatre and as soon as they were awake enough when they returned to ICU. They missed just one dose. It might be more problematic now as they medicate every 2 1/2hours.

One thing I would certainly do is discuss the different types of anaesthesia and pain relief with your Parky consultant beforehand. Some restricted pain relief medications, (the ones that are administer from a locked  box, mostly opiate derivatives), may be contraindicated.

OH did take a very long time to recover but after 3 months was back to his pre op self.

Recently he had a dislocated shoulder and, as the situation, (8 hours in A&E) was so stressful I didn't think to mention that he should not be given morphine. His P deteriorated considerably for a few weeks and when I spoke to the PSN and consultant they  suggested that it was a combination of shock and the pain relief which caused this. Of course, nobody can say that it was definitely the pain relief that set him back for a while but, once again he is over it.

An elderly lady of 86 that I know recently had a knee replacement with an epidural and a drug to deeply relax her. She remembers nothing about the op.


All the best.


Thank you also to Fedexlike, Kyloe and Benji for contributing to the discussion.

Fedex, you are doing the right thing by telling the facts as they are. I can tell what a caring person you are!

 I suppose Benji is also right by saying that everyone reacts differently to medication, although it seems clear to me, going by what I read, that a general anaesthetic can affect negatively any  disease affecting the brain, so perhaps it is best avoided if at all possible.

I'll definitely go for the local anaesthetic option, if I can find a surgeon who will agree to perform it. Gus, I don't think the same principle applies to a local anaesthetic.

Take care everyone.



                      I hope all goes well redpoppy  locals are suprisingly effective these days, but which ever you choose  I wish you well and a swift recovery.

                                                                 Kind Regards              Fed


As everyone has said , we all react differently but in the past i have never had any problems with GA but xmas 2012 i had  GA did not know at that point i had pd was not diagnosed till a few months later, but i reacted   to the GA, it took me a long time to actually come around and when i did my blood pressure plummeted i was vomiting every where , i would certainly think twice before another GA


sounds like your poorly little stomach goes through alot ! you need some dorset srumpy shelly!wink


That sounds a bit naughty gus,, oh ,,sorry I misread dorset.!,,,,sorry,,, ALL GET ME COAT!!!!!!?eye roll



Thank you for your best wishes, Fedex. I'll let you know what happens.

Shelley, it sounds like you had a rotten time last time you had a general anaesthetic. I do hope you can avoid those in the future. Take care.


thats alright fed ! just trying to lighten the subject shelly cool


Now theres a offer i cant refuse winkjust dont give me red wine  it goes straight to my head , my favourite tipple is Malibu , nothing like a bit of scrumpy Gus wink

Went to Hereford for a weekend away last year , did a tour of all the cider farms around there , cant remeber much of the weekend lol