Why You May Feel Some Discomfort After Surgery
Surgeons can do some wonderful, even miraculous things that weren’t possible even a few years ago. Unfortunately, they can’t completely eliminate the discomfort you’re likely to feel after your operation.
Your body, after all, doesn’t know the difference between the surgeon’s scalpel and an accidental or malicious intrusion into your flesh. The combined impact to your body from the surgery itself, from your body’s reaction to it, and from related factors, is naturally going to have some residual, but typically temporary, effects.
Disorientation Upon Waking Up
Confusion, as well as physical sensations like chills and itching after coming out of general anesthesia are common, but they tend to soon go away.
Queasiness, Nausea and Vomiting
These also tend to be initial side effects of general anesthesia. Post-op patients also frequently report constipation and gas. Medications can be taken to help counter stomach upset.
Sore Throat or Difficulty Breathing
The breathing tube put down one’s throat during general anesthesia can result in some pain or irritation afterward. Also, your doctor may give you breathing exercises to help your lungs recover.
Even though you were lying still the whole time, the various types of impact from surgery can take a lot out of you. But if you follow your post-operation instructions, your energy should return day by day.
Dehydration is not uncommon after surgery. Keep a glass of water nearby, but only drink small amounts at a time. Keep sugary drinks to a minimum.
Being positioned a certain way on the surgical table, especially for long procedures, can mean some back pain, stiffness or discomfort after surgery.
Swelling, Soreness and Pain at the Surgical Site
The impact of the surgical procedure, the closing, and any pressure applied to tissue or organs can cause residual pain or discomfort.
Restlessness and Sleeplessness
The nights following surgery can be uncomfortable, and the recent impact to your body may temporarily throw off your normal sleep patterns.
Although your surgical team followed protocols to reduce the risk of infection during surgery, bacteria can sometimes still sneak in and spread. If you suspect this is the case, contact your physician for an antibiotic prescription.
Severe Reactions to Anesthesia
Although general anesthesia is safer than it once was, patients are at greater risk for anesthesia-related problems if they have a history of heart disease, lung disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and stroke.
Generally, the longer the procedure, the greater the post-surgical discomfort. Women tend to be more susceptible than men, and older patients more than younger ones. Elective procedures tend to result in more postoperative discomfort than medically necessary ones.