When you no longer have the pain pump (PCA), epidural, or continuous nerve block, you must remember to ask your nurse for pain pills.
Do not wait until your pain is severe before you ask for pain medication. You can have the pain pills every few hours, but you must ask.
Pain control after surgery is important. When you experience less pain you are better able to move and breathe. By getting moving early after surgery, you can avoid problems that may delay your recovery. Getting out of bed and walking after surgery is a key determining factor in your recovery after surgery, as it helps to keep your muscles strong and helps to prevent blood from clotting. It is also important to do deep breathing exercises after surgery, to help prevent lung problems.
What you can do to manage your pain
- Communicate your pain with your doctors and nurses.
- You will be asked often to rate your pain. This is done using a pain scale (see below)
- Plan for activity by taking medication 30 minutes’ prior.
- Let the nurse know if your pain treatment is not decreasing your pain.
- Try reading, listening to music, watching TV, deep breathing, and quiet activities for distraction.
- Remember that pain is personal, and the amount of pain you experience may be different from other people who have had the same surgery.