I just read that an inhalational anestheic called isoflurane contributes to Alzheimer's down the road and is risky in elderly patients who can wake up suffering from dementia. I am not an elderly patient but I am not 25 either and my brain has taken quite a lot of abuse already. Another anesthetic, propofol, is for deep anesthesia and is actually neuroprotective. I was told what was used when I had a few surgeries for other things but I forgot since I did not write it down. Maybe memory problems people experience after AN surgeries are related to aneathesia more rather than the surgery itself.
I remember when I was at NYU after my first surgery 18 years ago, an 80 year old woman came in for a pituitary surgery. She was sharp as a wistle, energetic, optimistic, great attitude. After surgery, she was completely demented. It was extremely depressing. I cried because I had one complication after another and couldn't get out of the hospital and then cried because I saw what was happening to her (we were in the same room). The surgeon was shocked saying that the surgery was textbook, everything worked out in the patient's favor and it took less time than expected.
Maybe, we, patients, should learn about anesthesia meds used in surgery because this is just as important as the approach used. I can see why radiation is recommended for elderly AN patients: it is probably because of the dangers of anesthesia in addition to those of the surgery.
Forgive me but I still have nightmares about my first experience, it can probably qualify as Postraumatic stress disorder. Now that the second surgery is approaching, I obviously have flashbacks and my anxiety is building. I understand that the techniques improved greatly and surgery times are shorter and people overall have easier time afterwards ( except for huge tumors like Chelsea's and Chris's for example) than I did but I also feel compelled posing this question. Thank you fo all your replies!