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 Advice on anesthesia issues 
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Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:38 pm
Posts: 712
Location: CA
Post Advice on anesthesia issues
Friends --
Jerome's macular degeneration took a bad turn from dry to wet in the past week. Bleeding in the back of the eye is obscuring 2/3 of the vision in that eye (the other eye lost all but peripheral vision some time ago). We are facing three options:

1. Do nothing -- the condition will progress and he will lose all vision in that eye, rendering him, essentially, blind.

2. Receive an injection of Lucentis in the eye -- this should halt the vision from eroding further.

3. Outpatient surgery under general anesthesia -- 50% chance of restoring the sight to that eye (will also require keeping head down/inverted for two weeks solid).

We have the top retina specialist in the area, but based on my discussions with them, I do not believe he or his staff are familiar with DLB or issues related to anesthesia. I have told the doctor that I needed to research the anesthesia issues and would have to speak with the anesthesiologist before we could make a decision.

The surgery will only work if we move fast -- he would have to have it early next week if we go that route. They will expect a decision by Monday afternoon.

Jerome is desperate to get some vision back. I am very concerned about the anesthesia accelerating the DLB or putting him through some horrors related to the anesthesia.

Has anyone faced this issue before? Where can I find some info on anesthesia and DLB (that a non-medical professional could understand)? What would you do in my shoes? Jerome is counting on me to ultimately make the decision.

Advice, opinions, considerations, INFORMATION would be much appreciated. Thank you from both of us!

Renata (and Jerome-in-Heaven)

Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:56 pm

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
I'm pretty sure we've seen this topic addressed before. Did you do a search of "anesthesia"?

Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:20 am

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:43 am
Posts: 215
Location: Seattle, WA
I would *DEFINITELY* do the Lucentis (or Avastin, which is vastly cheaper and essentially equally effective). I'd worry about compliance with the postsurgical instructions, which was really hard for Mel after his hip replacement.

The biggest thing in the anesthesia is to avoid anything with an anticholinergic action; I would have the anesthesiologist speak directly to your neurologist and see what the goals are for the anesthesia; Cal's had two cataracts done since he's had LBD symptoms, and I can't associate the procedures with any specific decline.

Best of luck with this; Cal has ARMD too, and we've found it a challenge separate vision problems from visual processing/cognitive issues.


Cal is not the real name of a real 84 year old with DLB. I don't speak for LBDA, nor do I have clever initials behind my name, so information is provided without warranty. Caveat everybody. I blog at

Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:14 am
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