Plastic surgery pain management
New ways of cosmetic Plastic surgery pain management
Some “discomfort” is an normal and expected part of any plastic surgery procedure. Plastic surgery pain management is an important part of the recovery from cosmetic surgery procedures. Pain after surgery will change in terms of type of pain and intensity and cosmetic plastic surgeons are trained to hep you get relief from the pain in various ways. here are some previous blogs on pain found in the pre- and post operative section.
Traditionally, pain management has involved use of a number of techniques.
Medications that control pain; Drugs for pain control are either
- Narcotic medications ( Codeine, Percocet, Vicodin)
- Non-narcotic meds like Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Anti-inflammatory medications that also have pain control (Ibuprofen, Advil).
Local treatments for post operative pain
- Massage of the area of surgery will improve circulation, decrease swelling and therefore pain.
- Hot and Cold therapy will increase circulation and decrease swelling also decreasing pain
New findings in plastic surgery pain management
- Music therapy is one of the newer methods to help decrease pain after plastic surgery. It turns out that listening to music which you like can help to decrease pain perception. There is a large body of evidence in control of pain in cancer patients by listening to different types of music or even nature sounds ( like the ones in the spas). The type of music does not seem to matter. If you prefer classical that is fine and if you relax to hard rock that seems to be as efficacious.
- Caffeine has recently been found to be useful in pain control. A recent study shows that patients taking Non-narcotic medications like Tylenol or Motrin achieved 5-10% more pain relief by taking 100mg caffeine. That is the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee. Tea also has caffeine and can achieve the same. So can Coke/Pepsi colas etc. etc. How caffeine works to increase the [pain perception threshold is not fully understood but its stimulation effect on the brain seems to be part of it.
- Under medication has recently been found to be a major cause of lack of pain relief after surgery. A new study has shown that doctors, whether male or female, will tend to under medicate their female patients. Men complaining of pain get medications but women do not! Women complaining of pain are often thought to have a greater psychological component to their pain- which it turns out is not true! So, asking your board certified plastic surgeon for more pain medication is a normal and necessary course if you have been under medicated. Of course too much medication has its own serious and negative consequences, so if the surgeon says no more narcotics, its for your own good!
Using these new findings to help decrease pain after surgery will help you have a smoother post-operative course. Always discuss with your plastic surgeon when and what to take. Even though each technique may only work for 10% reduction of pain, adding them together can give you significant relief!