surgical services

Pain Control

Easing your pain & managing symptoms

After surgery, you should expect that there will be some level of pain. Your physicians and nurses will take measures to minimize your pain. Be sure to communicate how you are feeling so your medical team can better manage your pain.

Experiences with pain levels after surgery vary widely based on the procedure and from person to person. Techniques to manage pain must be adjusted to each person's unique response.

Individuals on regular daily doses of pain pills are more resistant after surgery to the effects of normal pain medicine dosages and will require higher dosages of medicine or more frequently administered medicines. This may require periods of dosage adjustments. Your patience is appreciated during these efforts.

Frequently asked questions about pain management

Q: Who will help manage my pain?

A: When you wake up from surgery, you will have a nurse at your side who will provide medication and other pain control techniques as directed by your physician.

Q: How can I effectively communicate how I am feeling?

A: Often the nurse will ask about your level of pain on a 1–10 scale, with one being minimal and 10 being the most pain you can imagine. People tolerate pain differently. The nurse will ask what level you can tolerate based on the pain scale. The goal is to get your pain to that level or lower. Your pain will be re-assessed continually.

Q: Are there pain management alternatives to medication?

A: Yes. Anesthesia may offer a nerve block to decrease post-op pain. Your surgeon may inject local anesthesia to your surgery site in surgery. Ice to your surgery site (if applicable) can help. Positioning can also decrease pain. For some, music, meditation and support from family members can help.

Q: What can I do to avoid becoming addicted to pain pills?

A: Using the medications as directed for surgery pain will not cause you to be addicted to pain pills. Your physician will follow-up with you at your post-operative visit and discuss any additional need for pain medication after your first prescription. If you have concerns about addiction, please discuss them with your physician.

Q: What can I do to ease the anxiety I am feeling about my surgical procedure and the pain it may cause?

A: Besides reading this, feel free to discuss your concerns and anxiety with your physician office personnel and our preadmission nurse.