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What kind of pain should I expect after surgery?
In part, this will depend on the type of surgery. Everyone is different and responds to surgery in a different way. There are some common issues about pain after surgery.
Many patients will feel bad the day after surgery. Anesthesia is wearing off and patients are either in bed at home or in the hospital with their pain controlled by medications administered regularly by a nurse.
By day 2, people are at home or may be on their way home, but they are still taking it easy with their pain controlled by pain medicine.
On day 3 post operation, many people expect to feel better but are surprised to find that their pain and recovery may not be progressing as quickly as they anticipated. The physiological reasons for this surprise may include:
Pain expectations should be realistic. You will have pain. Depending on the procedure and the person, patients should feel a little better each day. Be sure to take it easy, listen to your body and control your pain.
A slow, steady re-entry back into normal life should take at least a week. If you push yourself too hard too soon, the repercussions might actually slow recovery and cause injury and/or additional pain. And, as always, if your recovery is not progressing or you actually feel worse rather than better post-surgery, call your physician.
Dr. Crystal Pressley is a general surgeon with WakeMed Physician Practices – General Surgery. Dr. Pressley specializes in general surgery, trauma and critical care. Learn more about Dr. Pressley and schedule an appointment today.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610