Some pain is inevitable after surgery but the main goal is to avoid severe pain at all times. Pain management techniques aim to reduce your risk of severe pain at all times and aim for adequate levels of comfort to allow for mobilisation and general well-being after surgery. While some patients are fortunate to experience less pain than others, some can have significantly more pain and will require more support. At Hollywood hospital there is a daily review from our specialist pain team: The Acute Pain Service (APS) for selected patients. The team is comprised of specialist nurses who will exclusively assess your comfort levels each day and work with specialist pain doctors to improve your recovery. In general terms your pain relief plan will be prescribed by your anaesthetist in the 1st 24h and this is managed and reviewed daily by the APS team thereafter. It is important that this is managed promptly and expertly. Apart from the immediate benefit of additional comfort there may be longer term benefits in reducing the risk of persistent pain after surgery. This is a condition where pain may persist after the wound has fully healed and is termed persistent pain or 'chronic pain'.
Prior to discharge from hospital please ensure that you have received and understand the plan for ensuring adequate comfort levels. You will provided with medications that you will need to self-mange at home. For operations such as joint replacement surgery approximately 2 weeks of pain relief medications will be supplied. Thereafter you can be reviewed at the dressing clinic visit at the 2 week mark or by your general practitioner for further scripts and advice. Between 2 and 6 weeks it is best that you link up with your GP to monitor and provide ongoing support for pain management.