Even if anesthesia eases pain during a procedure, some surgeries can cause significant pain afterward or throughout recovery. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and take your pain medications to ease recovery.
Many medical procedures involve a degree of discomfort and, in some cases, pain.
Some procedures, though, are more painful than others. There are ones that may leave you feeling uncomfortable immediately afterward. For other ones, the discomfort lasts for several weeks or longer as you recover.
These six surgeries and procedures are some of the more painful ones you may need at some point in your life, according to patients who’ve had them.
It’s important to remember, though, that everyone experiences pain differently. What you find to be unbearably painful may barely faze another person.
There are two types of cholecystectomy:
Recovery after a laparoscopic cholecystectomy is usually pretty quick and doesn’t cause an extreme amount of pain or discomfort.
On the other hand, many people who have an open cholecystectomy say that it’s painful both immediately following surgery and throughout the recovery period.
The discomfort may last for 4 to 6 weeks, but it should leave you with less pain than you were in before the surgery.
One reason for the pain is that your body hasn’t adjusted to its new inability to digest fats in the same volume or frequency as before surgery. Some patients have had success with reducing their intake of fatty foods or breaking up a meal containing fat into several smaller meals.
Liposuction is an elective procedure. It involves the removal of subcutaneous fat and body sculpting. You may choose to have liposuction if you find your body fat is unevenly distributed and accumulates in certain areas, like under your arms or in your thighs.
The immediate result is bruising and severe discomfort, which usually surprises people if it’s their first time having this procedure.
Recovery time is determined by the amount of fat you have removed and the location of the procedure. You may experience soreness for a few days or several weeks.
This is an act of incredible generosity that’s made even more inspiring by the high level of pain involved. Donors say that there’s nothing quite like it. It helps to know that someone benefits from the pain, whether you’re donating to a stranger or a loved one.
According to the BeTheMatch Foundation, 84 percent of donors experience back or hip pain. The median recovery time is 20 days. However, you should be able to resume most activities within 1 to 7 days of the procedure.
The recovery period from dental implants can be long and painful.
The actual procedure usually only involves minimal pain from the injection of anesthesia, but the following months of recovery can be extremely painful. You may experience bruising, swelling, and bleeding in your mouth.
The most difficult part of this surgery is that every time you eat foods that require using your teeth, you’ll experience pain.
The surgery varies for people in terms of how painful it is. Most people agree that the recovery and rehabilitation process involves a high degree of pain. The pain can radiate from the hip into other parts of your body, including the legs and groin.
Full recovery may take 6 to 12 months. You should be able to resume most normal activities 6 to 8 weeks after the procedure.
Unlike a laparoscopic hysterectomy and vaginal hysterectomy, which generally have lower levels of pain, the discomfort and soreness from an abdominal hysterectomy can last for many weeks after the surgery.
The abdominal muscles are used for many of the movements you make during the day. Even things like standing up or rolling over in bed can be painful following the surgery.
It’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for recovery. For many of the procedures in this list, that will involve resting for a short time after the surgery. You may need to make temporary lifestyle changes, such as not lifting heavy items or eating soft foods.
While your physical activity may be restricted, generally there are no restrictions on walking. Studies have shown that a vigorous walking regimen reduces postoperative pain.
Your doctor may also prescribe medication to help manage your pain. Always take medication as prescribed. If you have any questions, call your doctor or pharmacist. Good questions to ask your doctor or pharmacist about pain medication include:
- How often should I take it? How many pills should I take each time?
- What other medications should I avoid taking while using this pain medication?
- Should I take it with food?
- Will it make me drowsy?
- How long should I use it?
- How should I dispose of my medication if I don’t use all of it?
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations.
- Take pain medication as prescribed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about dosage or about how or when to take your medication.
- Follow up with your doctor if your pain isn’t improving or is getting worse, or if you notice any new symptoms.
If your pain is unmanageable or gets worse, call your doctor. They can determine whether your pain is normal or whether you need to come in for a follow-up appointment.
All surgeries and procedures have a risk for side effects in addition to pain. Ask your doctor about what symptoms to watch out for and what you should do if you notice any side effects.