Pain Management after Operations

Effective pain-relief (analgesia) is an essential part of post-operative management. 

Why is this important?

Post-operative pain-management is for the minimization of discomfort, facilitation of early mobilization, and improvement in the overall ‘patient journey’ leading to earlier functional recovery.

Good pain-control after an operation ultimately reduces the likelihood of chest infections, blood clots, and even heart attacks!  This is because of improved functional recovery, such as deep breathing.

What are the approaches taken by our anaesthetists and surgeons towards post-operative pain relief?

Pain-relief is tailored to the demands of individuals based on the procedure, the responses of patients, and so on.

In general, it is useful to consider pain-relief as follows:

Local Anaesthetics

(e.g. Lidocaine or Ropivacaine)

Non-opioid Analgesics

(e.g. Paracetamol or Ibuprofen)

Opioid Analgesics

(e.g. Codeine or Tapentadol)

Different classes of analgesic may be synergistically combined for potentiation of analgesia.  The impact of emotion and psychology (such as anxiety and depression) must not be forgotten.  Also, it seems that women experience less acute pain but more chronic pain (especially in younger females).

It is important to follow the advice of the medical team, and to be logical and pragmatic.