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Postoperative Pain: Management, Treatment

postoperative pain

Postoperative pain is defined as the temporary pain which occurs after the surgical procedure. It is mainly for tissue injury and muscle spasm after any surgery.

According to available data, Each year, more than 230 million people undergo surgery each year worldwide and the number is increasing annually.

Why it is important to control postoperative pain?

It is necessary to control the postoperative pain along for the patient as well as for doctors.

It is recommended to control postoperative pain to promote the healing process and rehabilitation.

Postoperative pain management can help you feel good and it may reduce the chances of developing certain complications after surgery, like pneumonia and blood clots.

What are the types of postoperative pain?

After losing the effect of anesthesia you might start feeling the postoperative pain. It is not only limited to site of surgery, but it can spread throughout the body.

Bodyache: a patient can feel pain throughout his body, majorly in the shoulder, back of the neck, thighs & back.

Movement pain: it is the most common type of postoperative pain if you have undergone bigger surgery. You feel this type of pain when you try to make any movement.

Swelling: it is more obvious to see the swelling near the site of surgery and in some cases swelling can be seen in legs and hands.

Treatment options of postoperative pain

Postoperative Pain reduction after minor surgery can be done by following oral drugs:

  • Acetaminophen
  • NSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Opioids (be careful as they may be addictive)

Postoperative Pain reduction after major surgery may include one or more of the following treatments:

  • Pre-emptive Analgesia – in this type of treatment analgesia administered before the painful surgical insertion to prevent or reduce subsequent pain or analgesic requirements.
  • Opioid Analgesia – Opioids are widely used to manage the postoperative pain. They can be given by oral, transdermal, parenteral, neuraxial, and rectal routes.
  • Intravenous Patient-Controlled Analgesia – analgesic drugs like morphine, hydromorphone, and fentanyl can be administered through this type of method.
  • Epidural and Spinal Analgesia – In this type of analgesia, a catheter is inserted into the epidural space in the thoracic or lumbar spine and continuous infusion of local anesthetic agent along with opioids results in postoperative analgesia.
  • The Transversus Abdominis plane (TAP) – it is a peripheral nerve block that results in anesthesia of the abdominal wall.

Final Words

Postoperative pain management is a forte of doctors and surgeons, who are currently actively practicing the surgical procedures.

Choice of analgesic should be done on the basis of surgery performed and condition of the patient.

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