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Understanding Pain Management After Plastic Surgery


"Will it hurt?" This is without a doubt one of the most common questions cosmetic surgeons get asked. That’s because pain is simply a huge concern for many people. But like any cosmetic surgeon will tell you, the old adage ‘no pain no gain’ is extremely relevant in the world of cosmetic surgery more than in any other medical field. This should not worry you though because pain management techniques keep on improving each day. It is in fact, safe to say that for each cosmetic surgery procedure out there, there is always a pain management technique preferred that guarantees minimum pain. Read on to learn more about pain management and plastic surgery.

Pain Facts

The extent and degree of pain people feel after cosmetic procedures –non invasive, minimally invasive and surgical – depends on several factors. For example, you may not know it but gender plays a key role when it comes to pain management. Generally, males have been proven to have a lower pain threshold compared to females. Age is also a factor alongside other considerations such as the type of procedure you wish to undergo and use of anesthesia.

Effective Management

Effective pain management calls for extensive background checks to ensure the patient does not have an underlying medical condition. That is not all though. It also calls for medication to prevent nausea which is a common side effect of pain medication. Lastly, it includes guidance and advice on diet, what you should do and not do immediately after surgery and relevant suggestions on supportive accessories and garments.

Local or Regional Anesthesia

Regional anesthesia or large area local anesthesia aptly referred to as LALA are common in procedures like liposuction and eyelid surgery. LALA’s also come in under in biopsies that require tissue or skin samples as well as sex organ procedures. Local anesthesia can be delivered to the surgical site through a pain pump designed to release medication each time a button is pressed. The patient can then control intravenous infusion from the pain pump or it can simply be given as a continuous flow.

There are other benefits that come along with patient controlled pain pumps. They are primarily designed to decrease pain and reliance on medication. They also make it easy for surgeons to accurately administer anesthesia. A patient cannot overdose on patient controlled pain pumps because the amount of medication in the pump is always limited and monitored. It does not matter how many times the release button is pressed. The pump will only release what is necessary and enough.

Nerve Blocks

They are used to control pain that affects a limited area. They are mostly delivered through a small catheter around the incision area. They are ideal for pain management solely because they can control pain longer than a local pain injection can. Surgical procedures on legs and hands use nerve blocks. Facial surgical procedures and many dental treatments also use nerve blocks. Note that nerve blocks reduce the amount of narcotic substances required to control pain. That explains why they come along with minimal side effects.

This article was not written by Dr. Robert S. Fischer M.D and may not represent his views. To talk to Dr. Robert S. Fischer M.D. please contact the office directly.