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After surgery, it is common to have pain or discomfort at the site, so the doctor usually recommends the use of analgesic and/or anti-inflammatory medications, which help control pain and swelling, such as dipyrone, paracetamol, or tramadol, for example, depending on the type of surgery and the intensity of the pain.

Pain control is very important to allow faster recovery, to allow movement, to reduce hospitalization time, and the need for additional doctor's visits. However, in addition to medication, it is also important to take other precautions after surgery, which have to do with proper nutrition and rest, as well as wound care.

The type of medicine, whether milder or stronger, varies according to the size of the surgery and the intensity of the pain that each person may experience. However, if the pain is very intense or does not improve with the medication, it is important to return to the doctor to reassess its use.

The main ways to relieve pain after surgery are:

1. Pain medication

Pain remedies are usually indicated by the doctor right after surgery, and may be maintained for several days or weeks while the person recovers. Some of the most commonly used pain medications include:

  • Analgesics (dipyrone or paracetamol): these are widely used to relieve mild to moderate pain, reducing discomfort and making it easier to perform daily activities;

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, meloxicam, or celecoxib): there are several options, in tablet or injectable form, and are widely used because they relieve pain and reduce inflammation, also reducing swelling and redness;

  • Weak opioids (tramadol or codeine): these are useful for relieving moderate pain or pain that does not improve with lighter medicines, such as paracetamol, because they act on the central nervous system, and are usually used in conjunction with other painkillers;

  • Strong opioids (morphine, methadone or oxycodone): are even more potent, also in tablet or injectable form, and may be considered in more intense moments of pain, or when the pain does not improve with previous treatments;

  • Local anesthetics: applied directly to the surgical wound or in places of intense pain, such as in the joint or after orthopedic surgery, for example.

For the pain treatment to be effective, the treatment with these drugs must be well planned and indicated by the doctor, and the drugs must be taken at the proper times and never in excess, due to the risk of side effects.

2. Home remedies

Besides the pharmacy remedies, a great home remedy to relieve pain and speed postoperative recovery is to apply cold compresses to the area around the surgical wound, or to the affected area, holding for about 15 minutes and repeating 3 to 4 times a day. This measure helps reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

It is also recommended to wear comfortable, loose, and ventilated clothing, which will reduce friction and tightness in the areas that are recovering. Rest is also essential after surgery. The resting time is recommended by the doctor, according to the procedure performed and the physical conditions of each person, and can vary from 1 day, in localized aesthetic procedures, for example, to 1 month, in the cases of major surgeries.

One should look for comfortable positions, with the support of pillows, avoiding staying more than 2 to 3 hours in the same position. The doctor or physiotherapist may also recommend other appropriate activities, such as walking or stretching in bed, because excessive rest is also harmful to the health of muscles, bones, and blood circulation.

3. Care of the surgical wound

The care of the surgical wound should be guided by the surgeon and nursing staff. However, some important tips are:

● Keep the wound clean and dry at all times;

● Avoid exposing the wound if it is covered by a dressing;

● Perform the nursing consultations for wound care;

● When the wound is exposed, clean with saline solution or water with mild soap, or as directed by your healthcare professional;

● Avoid rubbing the wound;

● Avoid sun exposure for about 3 months, to reduce the risk of scarring.

You should also regularly evaluate the appearance of the wound because it is common for a transparent secretion to appear for a few days; however, it is important to see a doctor if there is a bloody or pus-filled secretion or signs of infection, such as swelling, severe pain, or fever, for example.


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