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Patient Surgery Guide

Your Pain Management

The way we treat pain uses many different kinds of treatments. Pain can affect a patient's recovery and overall quality of life. This makes pain management important for your comfort, recovery and physical and emotional well-being. We treat your pain as a complex condition not a symptom allowing us to provide fast, personal care that meets the needs of each patient.

Pain affects each person in different ways. Because each patient is different we use the most helpful and safe ways to target and relieve your pain so you can go back to everyday life.

Pain is common after surgery. Swelling and healing can cause bad or sad feelings, emotional stress, and physical discomfort. The amount of pain you feel after surgery is due to many reasons including the kind of surgery, your health and other medical conditions, and your pain management.

We need you to be involved and informed in your pain management.

Pain treatment may include medicine called opioids. Opioids work on your nervous system to block pain signals going to your brain. These can have serious side effects and should be limited to the lowest dose possible. Our goal is to use less of these medications and instead use powerful nonopioid medications. Often times these non-opioid medications are used in combination to block the pain signal at multiple points. These medications include anti-inflammatories, local anesthetics (like the dentist uses), and gabapentin, a nerve pain medicine.

Epidurals or nerve blocks may be used. These put the nerves to sleep with medication. This may last for several hours or even days depending on the type of medicine or injection used.

Non-medication pain management is also important. This may include finding ways to make you more relaxed and may include physical therapy.

We use simple questions to understand the pain you may be having during your stay. The better you understand these questions, the better we can help you. The picture below shows different levels of pain from numbers 0 to 10. Having no pain is the number 0. The worst pain ever is the number 10 and prevents you from doing any activity. You can use this picture to help tell your care givers the kind of pain you are having.

Most importantly, if you need something speak up. Let us know if you have pain and if your pain is not being controlled so that we can do something to help.

pain scale