Before you go to sleep
During the operation your anaesthetist will remain with you monitoring your operation, anaesthetic and all your vital physiological functions. They stay with you until you reach the recovery room where your care will be continued by the recovery staff. While you are in recovery if you have any discomfort or feel nauseous or sick it is important that you let the recovery staff know. They can administer pain killers or anti-nausea drugs if they are required. Generally speaking, if we get you comfortable by the time you leave recovery you will then have good on-going pain control.
When you are asleep you will also have a urinary catheter placed. This can be removed when you are able to mobilise comfortably enough to get to the toilet.
Your Stay in Hospital
You will be given pain relief during your operation with the aim of having you comfortable when you wake in recovery. If you have any discomfort please let the nursing staff know, so that they can give you further pain relief if you need it.
As long as you have no contraindications you will be started on regular paracetamol and ibuprofen. Often you will also be given a slow release pain reliever called Palexia morning and night.
For the first 24-48 hours you will also be given a PCA. PCA stands for Patient Controlled Analgesia. It is a small computer device that delivers pain relief into your drip when you press a button. The best way to make a PCA work well is to start using it whenever you begin to get pain. This way you can keep your pain under control rather than waiting till the pain is problem then trying to treat it. At the 24-48 hour mark the PCA will come down. You will continue the regular pain relief as described above and we also give you additional “breakthrough” tablets when needed to replace the PCA. This will usually be either oxycodone or Palexia.
The combination of “regular” pain relief and the “breakthrough” medication is the same combination you will go home on.
During the operation Dr Sandercoe is often able to insert a small catheter into the surgical area. This is attached to a local anaesthetic pump which pumps local anaesthetic into the surgical area to help with pain control. This can remain in palce for about 3 days. This is a little bit like an epidural catheter (many of you will have heard of these), but it puts local anaesthetic directly into the surgical area, rather than going in your back.