Coping with Post-operative Pain
Many of us at some point in our lives will have to undergo a surgical procedure. This might be related to correcting or treating an injury, or it might be due to an illness – such as an appendectomy for appendicitis. Some only require local anaesthesia, and can be performed while the patient is awake, whereas others might require general anaesthetic if they’re more invasive.
In any case, after surgery, whether it’s minor or major, feelings of pain are inevitable. When the body experiences trauma, it reacts by releasing prostaglandins, which can cause swelling and inflammation in the affected area. So, during recovery, it’s important to stick to a few simple rules, to ensure your body is given the best chance to heal, and to ensure pain is kept to a minimum.
Here is our brief guide to coping with post-operative pain:
Have Someone With You
After undergoing a procedure, it is always advisable to have someone with you during the following days – not only in case you suffer an adverse reaction to the treatment, but also to just help you get through it, whether it’s by making you food, or making you feel more comfortable.
Don’t Perform Any Strenuous Tasks
If you do have to go it alone after surgery, make sure you don’t do anything which is any way strenuous. Doing so could exacerbate feelings of pain, or worse, compromise your stitches and make it harder for you to heal.
Look After Your Dressing
Your dressing is there to protect your wound, provide support, and help to reduce feelings of discomfort. Try to keep it clean and dry.
Follow Your Treatment Plan
Following your procedure, your doctor will likely have issued you a prescription for pain relief medication which you can buy online or in person at your local chemist. They may also have advised you to exercise the joints around the affected area to avoid stiffness and further injury. Do your absolute best to stick to the specific plan they have set out for you.
And if You Notice Anything Unusual…
If pain gets worse, or you notice any abnormal swelling or discoloration around the point of surgery, seek medical advice right away.