After surgery, it’s important to take regular pain relief – as well as giving yourself time to rest and recuperate properly.
Always follow the advice of the doctors, nurses and surgeons to ensure that you make a good recovery in the fastest time it is possible to do so.
Good pain relief is important and some people require more pain relief than others, depending on a number of factors, including the type of procedure.
It is much easier to relieve pain if it is dealt with before it gets bad. Therefore it’s important that you inform a member of staff if you feel any increase in pain.
Pain relief medication can be increased, given more often or provided in different combinations, so if you find a certain mixture isn’t working for you, talk to your nurse as there may be other options.
Occasionally, pain is a warning sign that something is wrong, so you should ask for help when you feel pain.
Types of pain relief
There are different ways we might administer pain relief to you in hospital. The majority of patients will receive:
Pills, tablets or liquids to swallow.
These are used for all types of pain. They take at least half an hour to work. You need to be able to eat, drink and not feel sick for these drugs to work.
These are often needed, and are given either into a vein for immediate effect, or into your leg or buttock muscle. If in a muscle they may take up to twenty minutes to work.
These waxy pellets are put in your back passage (rectum). The pellet dissolves and the drug passes into the body. They are useful if you cannot swallow or if you might vomit.
Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA)
This is a way of giving you pain relief after your operation that allows you to control your pain relief yourself. If you are having a PCA you will be connected to a pump containing a pain relieving medicine – usually morphine. The pump is linked to a handset with a button. When you press a small dose of medicine is delivered into your cannula. It will be programmed to ensure you receive that right dose, and do not overdose no matter how many times you press the button
Local anaesthaetics, regional blocks, spinal and epidural
These type of anaesthesia are very useful for relieving pain after surgery. The single local anaesthetic is often given at the end of your procedure. Regional blocks are often single injections to make an area go numb for longer, but this can sometimes be extended even more.
You won’t be asked to pay for any medication you are given in hospital after your surgery.