Over the last 30 years we have discovered a lot about post-op pain. Most of the focus has been on ACUTE pain, looking at painkillers and anaesthetic techniques to block pain.
We have introduced Acute Pain Services, which help to manage pain after surgery, by getting guidelines into practice - so that you get enough painkillers, or local anaesthetic and ensuring that these are safe. The trouble is that all this work has resulted in NO improvement!
How likely is it that you will have little or no pain after your surgery?
Unfortunately, research from 2017 found that 4 out of 5 people had poorly controlled pain. "Poorly controlled acute postoperative pain is associated with increased morbidity, functional and quality-of-life impairment, delayed recovery time, prolonged duration of opioid use, and higher health-care costs. In addition, the presence and intensity of acute pain during or after surgery is predictive of the development of chronic pain."
So, things have not really got any better, despite advances in knowledge, drugs or even with pain being "the fifth vital sign". In fact, we're doing more and more operations - leading to more people with persistent post-op pain.
Some operations, such as breast surgery or thoracic ops have persistent pain as an outcome around 50% of the time.
I'm not sure if I want to have an operation!
It can certainly be worth discussing with your doctors and surgeons about the pro's and con's of an operation and they will give you good advice about whether surgery is necessary.
You can ask about the likelihood of having persistent pain in their patients - and the steps they take to reduce the risks.
But there are quite a few things that YOU can do to reduce pain after surgery - and that's what I want to help you to put into practice with OPERATION PAIN-LESS.
While we believe that the advice on this website is accurate and based on expert medical opinion you should always consult your healthcare professional on any matter related to your health and well being. He or she knows your circumstances best and therefore the appropriate action to take on your behalf.