For surgery patients, the pain they might feel after the intervention is a hot topic. Many fear that the post-surgery pain is going to be overwhelming and it might not be soothed by the doctor. Post-surgery pain management is used to balance the amount of pain felt by the patient and the amount of pills he receives, to reduce the pain to a reasonable level.
Most of the times this falls into the surgeon’s responsibility, who knows the amount of pain the patient is experiencing after the surgery and can advise on which medication or procedures should be used to soothe the pain. Anesthesiologists also get involved in the post-surgery pain management process, to help the patient recover easier after the intervention.
Pain management essentials
After the surgery, the patient needs to feel as comfortable as possible in order to be able to recover quickly. Many patients are tempted to take strong pills after the intervention, but if your pain can be controlled with regular, over the counter pills, there is no need to take stronger medication, which can damage your stomach or kidneys. If your pain is gradually reducing in intensity, your dose of pills should be decreasing.
Another important fact about post-surgery pain management is that patients expect to feel no pain after the surgery. This is an unrealistic expectation; post-surgery pain management aims to reduce the pain to a bearable level, which enables the patient to function after the intervention. If you can walk, talk and eat, your pain is under control.
Your doctor is going to advise on what pills to take and what activities to undertake in order to reduce your post-surgery pain. Before you modify anything from your pain management plan, talk to your doctor or the surgeon who conducted the intervention. Decreasing or increasing the dose or your activity level might have a negative impact on the surgery. At the same time, it might lead to a number of side-effects, such as heavy breathing or addiction.
Pain medication side-effects
All pain medication has side-effects, so you need to be ready to deal with them. For example, opioids can lead to constipation and might require you to take stool softeners. Other pain medication can cause drowsiness, so you have to avoid driving or operating big machines.
The main goal you should have after a surgery when it comes to pain is to keep it at the same level. To do this, you should only take a pill when the pain reaches level 8 or higher. Between pills your pain management specialist can advise you on what type of activities you can do to soothe the pain. Many patients are asked to walk as much as possible after a surgery, in order to recover their mobility and reduce the pain.
On the long term you can see a pain management practitioner who can create a custom plan for you to fight pain during your recovery stage.