How to Deal With Post-Surgery Pain?

When you find out that you might have to go into surgery, you can get anxious at first. There will be many questions about the condition and why you need the surgery in the first place, but also how the procedure will go and what will you feel like after. Will you be able to get right back on your feet, or will you have to deal with pain? And if so, what are some ways, in which you can deal with them? 

Pain definitely always comes with most types of surgery. Only very few surgery types will allow you to wake up and feel no pain at all. However, there are many options for post-operative rehabilitation and many of them are so effective, that you might not feel any pain at all. A well-controlled pain is not only necessary for you to feel comfortable, but it can also speed up your recovery time and it can prevent any problems that might turn into long-term ones.  

To be able to get the best treatment available after surgery and to be able to deal with the pain in the best way possible, it is important that you speak to your doctor openly about how you’re feeling. If you get prescribed a certain medication type, it is advised to keep in touch with your doctor and report back if you experience any type of side effects.  

Although many forget to think of it that way, your management of the post-surgery pain begins even before you’ve had the surgery in the first place. You should first speak to the surgeon that is performing the procedure, as well as the anesthesiologist about how your pain will be managed once you get out of surgery. This conversation and decision need to be done before the surgery, and not afterward.  

To do so, you will need to tell your doctor about any type of medication you might already be taking, supplement pills, over-the-counter medication or prescription drugs. There are drug interactions that can be very dangerous and it is important that you help prevent them. 

You can openly ask your doctor about how much pain you will be in and how long that pain will last for. Although this always depends on the individual and everyone deals with pain differently, there is a general level and type of pain that gets associated to each type of surgery. Some studies have shown, that typically most people will experience a lot of muscle spasms, as soon as they get back from surgery. This type of cramping will typically last until the bowels start working back the way they used to.   

It is also important to plan ahead of time, as being prepared will also help you to be less anxious, as you will know what to expect and what to not worry about. Even if your pain is more intense or even if it lasts longer than what you had discussed with your doctor, you should speak to your doctor about it first, before worrying. As already mentioned, everyone deals with post-surgery pain in their own individual way.  

If you already know what kind of pain medication you will be taking, you should make sure that you learn everything you can about the possible side effects. An important part of getting this type of information is being able to tell if you do experience something that you shouldn’t be feeling. Opioids, which are commonly used after surgery, do come with side effects, such as nausea, urinary retention, and constipation. This can lead to many other effects, which can all prolong the healing. Patients who haven’t discussed the medication that they will be talking with their doctor prior to hand, are often left off guard. Some patients even stop taking their medication due to the side effects, that they are experiencing, which is a big mistake. If you do experience side effects, the right thing to do is report back to your doctor. There are always alternatives that you can try, which might cause you fewer side effects or even none at all.  

A side effect that is particularly known to present a problem in people who take pain medication is nausea. Those who are more prone to get nausea should inform their doctor about this ahead of time, as it is is something the doctor will need to consider when prescribing you with the medication for your pain. There are even medications that you can get to prevent nausea ahead of time.  

When you are able to go back home, you will need to develop a plan. Your doctors will inform you of everything you will need to do once you leave the hospital. But prior to leaving, you should also feel well-enough informed about what to do if you experience pain. This is not only important for the sake of your comfort, but also for the sake of your recovery time.  

There are unfortunately cases in which the doctor doesn’t help the patient focus well enough on post-surgery pain. Sometimes, patients have only gotten prescribed medication that lasts for four to six hours at most and are told to take this medication twice a day. Most experts agree, that this is not adequate post-surgery pain management.  

While you are recovering, you shouldn’t be toughing it out. You should speak to your doctor about how you’re feeling. A common mistake that most patients make, is to wait until it hurts too much before taking the medication. On the contrary, you should be staying ahead of your pain. If you wait until the pain is there, you will need much more medicine to control it and you will also be in great discomfort. By taking your prescribed medication on time, you can reduce the discomfort and you can prevent the necessity of requiring too much medicine. 

When it comes to your medication, you should always follow the schedule that your doctor has set for you.  A schedule is there for a reason and it helps the medicine to be flowing through your system continuously. This allows for an even and manageable level of pain.

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