Our services: After surgery


It is normal to expect some pain after any major operation. This will decrease rapidly over the first couple of days, but it is normal to take pain medication for four to eight weeks after surgery. Your surgeon can help control your pain in several different ways. It is important for you to let your nurse know when you have pain, so that medication can be given before your pain is too much. Keeping your pain under control allows you to participate better in physical therapy and makes recovery quicker. The different kinds of pain control are:

  • Intermittent IV pain medication.
  • Oral medication such as Percocet (oxycodone), Vicodin (hydrocodone), and Dilaudid (hydromorphone) is used as a first choice for pain control. These medications are given by the nurse as prescribed by your surgeon.
  • Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA)—a device that is connected to your IV or epidural catheter and is set up before you wake up from surgery.  When you push a button on the machine a prescribed dose of pain medication is delivered. You can use this in between oral medication doses if your pain is too much.
  • Ice—you may ask your nurse or physical therapist for an ice pack. Ice helps control swelling and pain and should be used several times a day for 10 to 15 minutes for the first few weeks or until all your swelling is gone.

Pain medications can cause several side effects, including sedation, constipation, nausea, dizziness, dry mouth and hallucinations. Let your nurse know if you are having any of these symptoms so they can be addressed. Remember, some people are more sensitive to the effects of narcotics.

Back to top

Contact us: Day Surgery, 541.677.2445; Surgery, 541.677.2443