Anesthesia and Managing Pain After Surgery
Prior to your procedure, your anesthesia provider will review the results of your ambulatory tests with you, and conduct a personalized anesthesia assessment with a review of your anesthesia options.
On the day of surgery, you will have an IV (intravenous) tube placed in your arm to receive necessary medications. In the operating room, an anesthesiologist will deliver pain medication and administer anesthesia, which will keep you comfortable during the surgery. General and regional anesthesia are options you can discuss with your surgeon prior to surgery. Regional anesthesia is preferred for its ability to provide pain relief both during and after surgery. However, the anesthesiologist will make the final decision based on your particular medical circumstances. Once the anesthesia takes effect, an orthopaedic nurse will wash the area to be operated on with a special sterilizing solution. A urinary catheter may be inserted and compression stockings may be placed on both legs to decrease the risk of blood clots.
An anesthesia provider also will be present for the entire length of your procedure to ensure your comfort and safety. Once your surgery is complete, you will be taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit to recover from the effects of anesthesia.
Managing Pain After Surgery
Pain is treated in several ways depending on your needs.
- Epidural pain control is the most effective method of controlling most forms of post surgical pain. To manage your pain, a catheter will be placed in your lower back through which, constant small amounts of pain medication will be administered into your body.
- Intravenous Patient Controlled Analgesia (IV PCA) is used when the surgery performed or a medical condition prohibits the use of epidural pain control. IV PCA administers small amounts of pain medication through an IV.
If your anesthesiologist determines that the above procedures are unsuitable for you, traditional pain injections may be administered to manage your pain.
Regardless of which method of pain relief is best for you, the use of sophisticated technology and knowledge will ensure that your discomfort after surgery will be minimal.