Pain Management after Surgery

How Can I Manage My Pain After Surgery?

It is important for you to be as comfortable as possible after your surgery. We want to help you stay ahead of the pain and heal quickly and safely. As your care team, we can help with the latest medications and methods to manage your pain to get back on your feet.

How Does My Doctor Help Manage My Pain?

Knowing what to expect can help you understand and manage pain. Before surgery, talk with your doctor about your experience with medications, including:

  • Allergies you have to any medications
  • Medications or methods that have worked (or not worked) for you before
  • Side effects of medications
  • Any other over-the-counter or prescription medications you take

How Do Caregivers Help Manage My Pain?

After surgery, your nurses will ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10. They’ll also ask you to describe where you hurt and what it feels like. Be honest about your pain — it helps us treat the pain better.

Medication works best when you take it before the pain gets severe. Don’t try to grin and bear it; there is no reason to tolerate severe pain. While you are in the hospital, our pain management specialists provide 24/7 care to control your pain.

Ways to Treat Pain

There are different types of pain medication, including:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Local anesthetics
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin)
  • Opioids, such as morphine and codeine

Depending on your condition and level of pain, you may be able to control pain without medicine, using breathing and relaxation exercises.

Ways to Receive Pain Medication

There are different ways you can receive pain medication, including:

  • At scheduled times
  • On request
  • Patient-controlled analgesia (painkiller)
  • Patient-controlled epidural analgesia

Discuss with your care team what is best for your particular condition.