General anaesthetic

I had surgery in July and right after that my balance became much worse. I may need another surgery and I am worried that the anaesthetic affected me and will make my balance even worse. Has anyone experienced this?

Hi Linda😊
I’ve had surgery, chemo and radiotherapy. As far as I can tell, it was actually the chemo that affected my ataxia. My Neurologist adjusted the dose because I felt so ‘disorientated’. It is known that some chemo effects Neurological conditions.

After breast surgery I didn’t notice any difference in ataxia symptoms. Other than that, lying down/standing up re radiotherapy, brought on a ‘head rush’, my balance was affected.

If you need further surgery, discuss these concerns with your Consultant, there may be alternative anaesthetic available :slightly_smiling_face:xB

Hi Beryl, thank you for responding. It appears we have the same luck with health! My recent surgery was also for breast cancer. I was very lucky, I did not require chemo or radiation. My balance became so much worse after the surgery and has not improved. I would like to speak to my neurologist about this but in Canada we have very long wait times to see specialists. My surgery coming up is to remove a kidney stone, so it is not a life threatening condition. I am considering cancelling the procedure but thought I would see if anyone else had a similar reaction to anaesthetic. This surgeon is a Urologist and has never heard of SCA (and did not seem particularly interested) so I did not discuss my concerns with him.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

I’ve also had surgery with no ill effects. I have sca3.came out of surgery fine with no changes to my balance

I have had several times under anesthesia. After the drugs are out of my system I seen to be back to where I was. I too had breast cancer. The chemo seemed to affect me the most. I only did one round because it was so bad. The doctor always asks you if you had any problems in the past. Explain your concerns then. Good luck.


Thank you everyone. Your replies have been very helpful. Sad to see so many of us with breast cancer. Thank you for sharing. I wish the best for everyone.

Yes, anesthesia may affect us in numerous ways. If balance is affected you can regain through balance exercises. I’ve had great help by getting video clips from The Balance Coach–Mike Ross. For $67 he sends five clips a week for a month and then encourages clients with a suggested program for a month and then continued to send me a clip each week…well worth the cost. I was released from PT (had broken my ankle) earlier than the PT therapist would have released me because I’d begun Mike’s program. He’ll send a couple of freebies before encouraging you to sign up for his online course (The Balance Academy) and he now has DVDs. But I liked the daily encouragement! JD

My changes came also from being under twice within two weeks for breast cancer surgery…

Thank you, I will check into that. I use a balance board which was helping but since the surgery I cannot get my balance back to what it was.

The Balance program will help your brain reconnect foundational pathways between your brain and extremities…which is a likely reason for difficulty even though you have a balance board. Another incredible little exercise helpful to reconnect is: stand with your arms out to each side with your palms out; turn your head to look directly at your left wrist bone (on the pinky finger side); while looking move your hand to shape A-L each letter as distinct as possible with full hand motions; next, turn to your extended right hand and do the letters M-Z. Doing at least one rep of A-L & M-Z in the morning and in the evening will begin pathways. It’s amazing. When tested with the walk across the room heel to toe…I couldn’t do it without staggering. Then the doctor showed me the A-L & M-Z and I had less difficulty after only one rep. Hope this is encouraging. JD

Very encouraging, thank you so much. I will try these exercises.

It worked for me too; the holding arms out. My PT guide showed me.

I’m thankful to have given you encouragement! JD

I had heart bypass Nov 2014. Prior to this I had what I now believe to be very mild Cerebal Ataxia (awkward gait) Within a few days of coming round I had a bad balance problem which has got worse ever since. I have tried Physio but does not seem to work. I am now trying leg strengthening exercises


See my post above from December 16…might be helpful. JD (senior48)

Linda2, I had surgery for a broken wrist-- the ER put me under and so did the orthopedic surgeon, so twice within 4 days – and I haven’t been the same since. Two-and-a-half weeks later, I uncharacteristically lost my balance for the first time getting up from my son’s college graduation dinner. My sister accused me of being drunk. My symptoms began in earnest later that year (2014), so that’s almost 2.5 years. Now, I lurch and fall and have trouble speaking. I am certain the anesthesia caused my ataxia.

Oh, Emory recently diagnosed me with ILOCA. Going to Mayo next month

For anesthesia induced ataxia I’d like to recommend Mike Ross and his Balance Academy. He gives a lot of encouragement. The cost is a bit more than a PT appointment ($67). And he sends additional video clips beyond his one month program. He also has DVDs now. JD

I’m really baffled by all the cases of breast cancer on here. Although for my Ataxia no genetic connection was found, my mother had Ataxia as well and two times breast cancer (with 20 years in between). Apparently there is a connection between breast cancer and a certain form of genetic Ataxia: ataxia-telangiectasia… I wonder if there could be another connection?

I feel really bad for any woman that has to deal with both. Or man for that matter. I hope I don’t ever. This is about all I can handle.