Learn about the causes of Post Operative Pain & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of
Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Post Operative Pain within New
Therapies which may benefit Post Operative Pain
Post-operative pain describes the pain and discomfort experienced after
surgery, and has both psychological and physiological factors. It can
affect all organ systems, and if not relieved can lead to delayed
Causes of post operative pain
It is usual to experience
post operative pain or discomfort after surgery as the surgical process
typically involves damaging bodily tissue. In the majority of cases,
pain eases as the body begins to heal. However, for some people, post
operative pain can become chronic and there are a number of physical
and psychological factors which may be the cause.
damage – this is one of the common causes of post operative pain. While
surgeons try to avoid damaging the nerves, there can be times when
minor cuts or over-stretching the nerve is unavoidable.
– as the skin heals after surgery, scar tissue begins to form. This
tissue can pull on other tissues which surround it or irritate nerve
endings. Some scar tissue can have nerve cells within it.
to tissue – damage or removal of bone and soft tissue during surgery
(particularly in joint replacements) is a common cause of post
- Inflammation – any inflammation surrounding the wound after surgery can cause pain.
- Infections – surgical wounds can become infected which will also cause pain.
– a previous history of anxiety, or anxiety/fear about having surgery
or recovering from surgery, can cause post operative pain
– as with anxiety, a previous history of depression can lead to post
operative pain. Depression can also occur due to post operative pain
Other causes of post operative pain
medical conditions such as fibromyalgia can cause and worsen pain.
There is evidence that surgeries which last longer that three hours
increases the risk of chronic post operative pain while post-surgery
treatments such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy can also
exacerbate the problem.
Symptoms of post operative pain
The common symptom is an acute or chronic pain typically surrounding
the surgical wound, although pain may radiate out to other areas of the
Pain may be accompanied by:
- Sleeping difficulty
- Loss of appetite
- Reduced mobility
- Urinary retention
Diagnosis of post operative pain
It is common to experience some pain or discomfort after a surgery but
in most cases the problem eases as the body heals. If pain is chronic
and persistent then it may indicate an underlying physical problem
(such as an infection) or a psychological issue (such as anxiety or
If you experience severe or persistent post
operative pain after release from hospital then you should contact the
surgeon or doctor who performed your procedure for advice. You can also
ask to see your GP who will assess the probable cause of your pain, be
it physical or psychological, and then suggest possible treatments.
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