There are many highly effective medications to keep post-surgical pain under control. In addition to the benefit of greater comfort, experts say well-controlled pain can speed recovery and prevent long-term problems.
Managing Pain After Surgery
In order to make sure you're getting the best possible treatment for your post-surgical pain, experts advise taking an active role and keeping the channels of communication open between you and your doctor–starting before your operation.
Start Before Surgerys
The time to talk with your surgeon and anesthesiologist about how your pain will be managed after surgery is before the surgery. Here are some important points to discuss with your doctor before making your way to the hospital:
Ask how much pain to expect and how long will it last.
Learn about possible side effects of pain medication and what you can do about them.
Ask your doctor about what can be done to ensure that your pain will be properly addressed once you leave
After Your Surgery
It's important that you communicate openly with your doctors and nurses about what you're feeling while you recover.
Stay ahead of your pain.
It takes a lot more medicine to control pain after it's started as opposed to starting it ahead of time.
Stick to the medication schedule set by the doctor.
Pre-existing medical conditions can complicate pain management after surgery. There are a few conditions that commonly interfere with post-surgical pain management.
Your body may be under additional stress because following surgery you'll likely feel the pain you've been
experiencing, as well as pain associated with the surgery.
Long-term use of chronic pain medication can lead to medication tolerance, meaning the drugs don't work as well
as they once did to block pain and that greater dosages are needed to get the same effect.
This makes post-surgery discomfort much more difficult to manage.
For fear of being of disgraced, people with addiction issues will keep very quiet about it, leaving their doctor
in the dark.
It is common for people recovering from addiction to refuse opioid treatment.
Tell your surgeon about addiction issues ahead of time, so that they can treat your addiction to
manage your pain while controlling the level of narcotics you're being given.
In sleep apnea people briefly stop breathing while they sleep–is a condition that's particularly important to discuss
with your surgeon.
Common pain medications can affect breathing patterns, which puts people with sleep apnea at a higher risk for
Post-surgical Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression can make pain worse and much more difficult to manage after a surgery.
Social issues can also be emotional issues. For example, an elderly person who is having surgery to fix a broken
a hip may realize that the incident will require him or her to change living conditions.
These issues should be openly discussed with your doctors and nurses as well.
Managing anxiety and depression after surgery, whether with medication or social support often reduces the need
for pain medication.