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Symptoms and Signs of Pain After Surgery

Doctor's Notes on Pain After Surgery

Pain after surgery means discomfort that can be serious that occurs after the aesthetics used during a surgical operation are stopped. Signs and symptoms of pain after surgery are common to almost everyone who has undergone a surgical procedure. Signs and symptoms in children and some adults include crying, poor feeding and fluid intake, lethargy, sleeplessness and unhappy facial expressions. Additional pain may occur at the operative site when it is touched or when the body is moved. Over time, as the patient heals from surgery, the signs and symptoms usually decrease and stop. However, a few patients may develop chronic pain.

Causes of pain after surgery is initially due to the cutting of the skin and other tissue that stimulates nerve fibers to signal pain. Other causes of pain after surgery can be signs of surgical complications such as infection of tissues at or near the surgical site, hematomas, tissue swelling, vomiting, formation of fistulas, bleeding from the wound or into the body, heart problems, pneumonia and/or chronic medical conditions.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.