Pain After Surgery
Pain After Surgery Overview
Pain after surgery is common. Pain after surgery is also normal and to be expected. Steps can be taken to minimize or eliminate pain, but pain that gets worse, especially if other symptoms are present, can be a sign of a surgical complication that may need to be checked by the doctor.
Children who have surgery experience pain just as adults do, and they usually are able to express their pain in one form or another. Most children older than 18 months can use the word pain, and children younger than 18 months often say they are “hurt.”
However, children often have a hard time explaining how much pain they feel. In addition, very young children who cannot speak yet have a more difficult time communicating how much pain they feel. Consequently, the parent must watch the child for nonverbal signs of pain that may include the following:
The parent should note how the child is behaving compared to the child’s usual behavior and express that to the doctor. The doctor may use pictures that the child can choose from to indicate where the child feels pain and to what degree. A happy, playful child who is sleeping and eating well is rarely in pain.
Just as children express pain differently, pain management in children can also vary.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/31/2015
Michael J Ameres, MD
Benson Yeh, MD
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
James Quinn, MD
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