The Majority of people who undergo surgery experience postoperative pain that could become severe over time if untreated. The Management of pain after surgery is an important task for pain specialists. Pain treatment involves identifying specific parts of the body that experience pain after an operation and choosing an appropriate treatment for pain relief after surgery.
In recent times, there have been several advances in pain management treatment. Innovations in medical equipment, and with doctors adopting the latest treatment practices and techniques , have brought forth immense progress in healthcare. Patients can now find immediate relief at a top pain management hospital near you.
Consult with a pain management specialist to understand how best to help you recover. Let us discuss in detail to know more about the pain management options.
Why is Pain Management Essential Post-Surgery?
It is common to experience some pain after surgery. However, managing pain should be a priority for you and the pain specialist. The doctor ensures to give you appropriate treatment for the pain relief after surgery for the following reasons:
- Pain control will make you feel better and live comfortably.
- It will help speed up the recovery process after the surgery.
- It will help avoid certain complications such as blood clots and pneumonia.
- Proper pain relief after surgery will help you concentrate on other tasks such as exercises, relaxation, and deep breathing techniques for recovery.
If you are taking any other medication, discuss it with your doctor. Also, tell the doctor about any allergies that you might have.
What are the Types of Pain After Surgery?
Typically, you will experience pain at the site of surgery. However, there are some other pains that you may also have after surgery.
- Pain on movement: Often after surgery, you may experience some discomfort with regular activities such as sitting, standing, walking, or coughing.
- Muscle pain: You may feel pain in the neck, chest, shoulders, and back muscles as you have spent time lying on the bed and operation table.
- Throat pain: It is common to experience pain while eating or swallowing, or you may have a sore throat.
What are the Necessary Arrangements for Proper Pain Management?
The pain management treatment will depend on the type of pain. Accordingly, the pain specialist will decide the route of administration, the equipment needed, and medications to treat the pain in the hospital, or clinic, or at home. The following arrangements will be required:
- Equipment such as an oximeter, a BP apparatus, oxygen supply, a defibrillator, an ultrasound machine, resuscitation equipment, Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump.
- Sterile instruments such as needles and syringes will also be required.
- Peripheral intravenous (iv) access, catheter, assembly for iv infusion set.
- Pain medications and narcotic analgesics.
- Pain evaluation tools such as pain scales or rating scales.
- Skilled and trained nurses and doctors for the proper working of the technique.
What are the Different Pain Management Techniques Practiced by Doctors After Surgery?
Your doctor will decide the course of pain management treatment after reviewing your pain history and the intensity of pain.The following options in different pain management techniques are practiced for post-surgery pain:
- Oral or injectable medications: Doctors commonly prescribe the following treatment:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids, steroids, paracetamol (brand name Tylenol in the United States), ketamine, gabapentin, or local anesthetic may be prescribed.
- For better pain control, a combination of medicines may be given by the pain specialist.
- The doctors prescribe oral medications for opioid drugs. For some medicines, they use PCA pumps. These are computerized devices that deliver pain medicine intravenously whenever you need it, just by pushing a button. The PCA pumps allow stable relief and are completely patient-controlled.
- Local, intraarticular, or topical techniques: Sometimes, you may need local relief from pain. Doctors may inject a nerve block, an anesthetic, or pain medicine in the joint, wound, or apply it directly over the skin.
- Regional anesthetic techniques: An anesthesiologist may inject an anesthetic medicine combined with an opioid or other pain medicine intravenously as a single injection or continuous iv drip.
- Neuraxial anesthetic techniques: Your doctor may give an epidural injection of anesthetic through a thin tube into the spine to manage the pain after a cesarean section, thoracic and abdomen surgeries.
Are There Any Non-Pharmacological Therapies Available for Pain Management?
Several non-pharmacological therapies work well in post-operative pain management. The following are the options:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: Sometimes, doctors might recommend psychological interventions for controlling or managing pain. These techniques can help you emotionally, to have adaptive ways of thinking and help you cope with post-operative pain.
- Music: Some clinical trials have proven that music effectively relieves pain after surgery and chronic pain in people.
- Electric impulses: Doctors may use electric pulses to block nerves to control pain.
- Physiotherapy: It is common to experience persistent pain after surgery. In addition to the primary techniques of pain management, doctors may recommend physiotherapy under the guidance of a qualified physiotherapist. Mild exercise can help control pain and make sure that you cope with it.
What are the Risks Involved in Pain Management Techniques After Surgery?
Pain management techniques may have specific side effects on your health. Consult with your doctor to understand the risks associated with your treatment. Risks do arise, these following risks are associated with post surgery pain management:
- Nausea, vomiting, and acidity or gastrointestinal bleeding due to pain medicines such as NSAIDs.
- Risk of addiction to opioid usage. You may also have sedation, urinary retention, rashes as side effects.
- Bleeding from the site of surgery.
- Risk of falls while using the peripheral anesthetic techniques.
- Doctors should monitor you closely while giving neuraxial anesthesia; it may cause respiratory depression and weakness.
Improper and inadequate pain control after surgery may exacerbate the acute post-surgical pain to a chronic level and interfere with the recovery process. Doctors, surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists must provide a plan for pain management techniques. These techniques are effective in relieving pain after surgery. You must take enough rest, avoid smoking and alcohol, take medicines regularly and never miss a pain management consultation.