Pain and Discomfort
If you feel a bit scared or frightened of hospital. . .
Don’t worry… we are here to help!
It is very normal for people to feel scared before going into hospital.
There are lots of things that we can do to help.
Talking to the nurses will help you understand more and will definitely help you worry less.
Pain relief following surgery
Our aim is to promote comfort at all times. To do this effectively we need your help and co-operation. Before surgery your nurse will explain a pain assessment tool and help you to use it.
We would hope that by working with us you do not experience pain at all. However you will at some point feel some discomfort.
After you have had your operation you will feel quite drowsy. This is normal, not only have you had an anaesthetic, you will also be given a strong pain relieving medicine called Morphine. This will be given through a drip straight into your vein (don’t worry you will not be able to feel this!)
You will probably return to the ward with this medication. It can be given by a pump or by system with a hand set so that you can give yourself the medication when you feel you need it. With this system you cannot give yourself too much, it’s given by a special machine that has a “lock out “ on that is pre set by the doctor! If this sounds a bit complicated don’t worry this will be explained both before and after your surgery. If you want you can have a “demo” of one of these machines before you have your operation.
As you start to get better and can manage to take tablets the drip will be removed. This is when you really need to tell the nurses if you have any pain and at what level. They can then decide which tablets to give you and when. We do not use injections as pain relief so do not worry! Medicines can be either tablets or medicine. A variety of painkillers are used these are listed below.
A strong analgesic (this is a medical word meaning painkiller). Morphine can be given via a drip or as a tablet or medicine. You cannot get addicted to Morphine in the short time you need it after heart surgery!
Is another analgesic. It is a moderate painkiller and can only be given as tablets or medicine.
Is a moderate analgesic that is usually given as a tablet.
Is a mild analgesic and is also helpful at bringing temperatures down. Often after surgery Paracetamol works well when it is used as well as other drugs.
You will need a combination of some of these drugs after heart surgery. Even tough guys need pain relief after heart surgery!
One of the best ways to get better is to start moving as soon as possible so you don’t get stiff! The physiotherapist and nurses will help you. As you start to move around you will feel better and will soon be off your bed wandering around. As you recover you may be allowed off the ward to the “burger king” or the shop.
When you go home you will probably not need any painkillers apart from mild analgesia such as Paracetamol. The nurses on the ward will explain more about any aspect of pain relief after surgery so don’t worry.
Talking to the nurses will help you understand more and will definitely help you worry less!