An Introduction to Pain Control

Dr. Wei-Zen Sun, Attending Physician, Department of Anesthesia, National Taiwan University Hospital and Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, National Taiwan University School of Medicine

When it comes to post-operative pain, some people believe a common misconception that the wounds associated with traditional open surgery are more painful than the wounds associated with minimally invasive surgery. That belief is incorrect. For example, there is a minimally invasive surgery used to treat lung cancer. The surgeon opens only two holes on the surface, but then removes part of the organ from inside the body. This is a major surgery.

Therefore, the size of an external wound does not determine the level of postoperative pain. Such a determination must consider both the internal and external aspects of the surgery. After the perioperative period, pain has three stages.

Stage 1: After the surgery, the patient starts to regain consciousness and the nervous system begins to control the body once again. At this stage, the patient's body and mind cannot immediately adapt to the tissue damage and other changes brought by the surgery. This causes discomfort and intense pain.

Stage 2: The hospitalization period starts from about 8 hours after surgery and ends after 7 days. During this period, successful pain control can enable patients to get out of bed earlier, which will accelerate their recovery time.

Stage 3: A small number of patients who have already been discharged from the hospital will still have wound pain that has not improved. This is classified as "chronic pain" in clinical practice and requires long-term treatment.

There are multiple clinical pain management methods for postoperative pain. In the first stage, which involves intense pain, doctors usually use common pain medications, along with treatments that block relevant nerves from transmitting pain.

In the second stage, the pain gradually decreases. It has been common to use PCA or intravenous injections for pain relief during this stage. In the past year, it has become increasingly common to use a new pain reliever that can last for 3-7 days with just one injection. The purpose of each of these treatments is to reduce the patient's pain, to help them get out of bed earlier, and to speed up their recovery.

In short, people undergo surgery for the purpose of curing their diseases. With modern medical technology, people who need surgery no longer need to panic about postoperative pain. As long as they trust their medical team, consult and communicate with their medical team before surgery, and choose appropriate pain relief methods, they can reduce the effects of surgery on their bodies and recover earlier.

POSTED FROM Health Care Network https://www.healthnews.com.tw/article/39255