Everyone reacts to pain in a different way. A scale from 0 to 10 is used to measure pain. At a “0,” you do not feel any pain. A “10” is the worst pain you have ever felt. Following a laparoscopic procedure, pain is sometimes felt in the shoulder. This is due to the gas inserted into your abdomen during the procedure. Moving and walking help to decrease the gas and the shoulder pain. 3 Extreme pain puts extra stress on your body at a time when your body needs to focus on healing. Do not wait until your pain has reached a “10” or is unbearable before telling your provider. It is much easier to control pain before it becomes severe
COMMON MEDICINES TO CONTROL PAIN
Narcotics or opioids are used for severe pain. Possible side effects of narcotics are sleepiness; lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate; skin rash and itching; constipation; nausea; and difficulty urinating. Some examples of narcotics include morphine, oxycodone (Percocet®/Percodan®), and hydromorphone (Dilaudid®). Medications can be given to control many of the side effects of narcotics.
NON-NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICATION
Most non-opioid analgesics are classified as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They are used to treat mild pain and inflammation or combined with narcotics to treat severe pain. Possible side effects of NSAIDs are stomach upset, bleeding in the digestive tract, and fluid retention. These side effects usually are not seen with short- term use. Let your doctor know if you have heart, kidney, or liver problems. Examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen, Motrin®, Aleve®, and Toradol® (given as a shot).
PAIN CONTROL WITHOUT MEDICINE
Splinting your stomach by placing a pillow over your abdomen with firm pressure before coughing or movement can help reduce the pain.
Distraction helps you focus on other activities instead of your pain. Listening to music, playing games, or other engaging activities can help you cope with mild pain and anxiety. Splinting Your Stomach
Guided imagery helps you direct and control your emotions. Close your eyes and gently inhale and exhale. Picture yourself in the center of somewhere beautiful. Feel the beauty surrounding you and your emotions coming back to your control. You should feel calmer.