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Post Hysterectomy

Pain After A Hysterectomy: What You Need To Know

Pain management is a concern for all surgical patients. There are a number of options available to manage post surgical pain. Patients should discuss the options with their physician prior to undergoing surgery. If you have any allergies to pain medications such as opiates or aspirin, you should tell your surgeon and your anesthesiologist. If you have any underlying health issues like heart disease, it is important to advise the surgeon and anesthesiologist. Certain medications fro pain contain either opiates or aspirin derivatives. Some local anesthetics, like lidocaine can cause increased heart rate in patients that have heart disease.

Demerol and morphine are commonly used to treat post surgical pain. Both these drugs are derived from opium. Side effects include mild to moderate nausea, dizziness, grogginess and mental confusion.Some patients have severe reactions to these medications. If you have taken either of these drugs in the past, and suffered a reaction to them, tell your doctor. Post surgically it is common for patients to be provided with pumps that administer small amounts of either morphine or Demerol on demand to control pain.

Patients who have had adverse reactions to morphine and demerol may be able to tolerate Toradol. This drug is also administered intravenously with a patient controlled pump. Toradol is an NSAID (non steroidal anti inflammatory drug) with analgesic properties. It controls moderate to severe pain effectively. It is contraindicated for patients with conditions that cause bleeding, because it has a blood thinning effect. It should not be taken orally by patients who have ulcers.

A third option for pain relief is a thin tube placed directly into the incision at the time of surgery. This tube delivers a local anesthetic like lidocaine to keep the area numb. Lidocaine is contraindicated in most patients with heart disease as one of the side effects can be a depressant effect on the circulatory system. Drowsiness while receiving lidocaine can be a symptom of a serious reaction in the central nervous system. The tube delivering the local anesthesia is kept in place for two days after surgery. The anesthesia is contained in a pouch that can be strapped to the patient's shoulder.

Following release from the hospital, patients will be prescribed oral pain relievers to control their pain at home. There are a large number of choices and the doctor and patient can best decide with pain reliever will provide the maximum pain relief with minimum side effects. Most prescribed pain relievers have side effects like drowsiness and dizziness. Patients on prescribed pain relievers should not undertake potentially hazardous activities like driving a car.

Within one month of the surgery, any discomfort should be manageable with over the counter medications like Tylenol, aspirin and Motrin. If the patient is still experiencing pain that cannot be managed by over the counter pain relievers, this is not normal and should be reported to the doctor. Four weeks post operatively, much of the healing should have occurred and severe pain at that point might indicate infection or other complications.

Controlling pain is a part of the overall surgical strategy and should be discussed prior to surgery. Women undergoing hysterectomies will experience different degrees of pain depending on the type and extent of the surgery. Some patients may experience only moderate pain which can be controlled by non prescription pain relievers. Other patients may have severe pain that may last two to three weeks.

Patient and doctor should work together to insure the patient's recovery is as comfortable as possible.


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