Post surgical pain treatment

Alternative names
Treatment - post surgery

Information

Question:
How is pain treated after surgery?

Answer:
There are many types of pain medication (including opiates or narcotics, local anesthetics, anti-inflammatory medications, etc.), and many different delivery methods (including oral, intravenous, epidural administration, etc.). Depending on the procedure and clinical situation, a single medication or combination of medications, and one or more modes of delivery may be used.

Studies show that patients who use pain medication (such as narcotics) early and aggressively after surgery have shorter hospital stays, suffer fewer chronic-pain problems later, and actually end up using fewer painkillers overall than those who avoid pain medication.

There is some evidence that extreme suffering from pain can weaken your body’s immune system. The risk of addiction to pain medication has been shown to be extremely low in patients using such medications for post-operative pain.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 8, 2012
by Brenda A. Kuper, M.D.

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