Recovery time will be faster and more tolerable with the use of pain medication.
Upon admission, a pre-operative nurse will discuss allergies and past pain medications with each patient. This is done to understand what medications have or have not worked in the past for that particular patient.
The OSMS surgeons most commonly use Vicodin (Hydrocodone) and Percocet (Oxycodone). Both of these narcotics are controlled substances. This means that they are not able to be called into a pharmacy. Therefore, it is recommended that all patients discuss their pain control options with their physician at their pre-operative appointment. This allows time for a prescription to be written, dropped off, and picked up at your pharmacy before your day of surgery.
After your surgery, while patients still have an IV, they are able to receive IV narcotics to get pain to a tolerable level. Once the patient is more awake and able to tolerate a small snack and beverage, the nursing staff can administer oral narcotics to take before the patient goes homes. The goal is for patients to have a ride home with minimal discomfort.
Physical dependency can occur with several weeks of narcotic use. Therefore limiting your usage to a short time period over the initial few days of recovery will minimize your chances of developing a dependency. Additionally, stopping the pain medication gradually will make the recovery period more tolerable.
Side Effects of Oral Narcotics:
– Constipation: It is recommended to take to a stool softener when starting the use of narcotics such as Colase, Metamucial, Miralax, etc. Also increasing daily fluid intake of water as well as increasing daily fiber consumption of fruits and vegetables will assist with preventing constipation.
– Drowsiness: It is not recommended to drive or operate heavy machinery while taking narcotics.
– Nausea/Vomiting: It is recommended to take narcotics with food.
– Rare and severe side effects include difficulty breathing or chest pain. Call 911 if this happens.
Individuals with health conditions, including depression, head injuries, thyroid disorders, and kidney or liver disease may not be able to take narcotics. Please discuss these conditions with the physician prior to surgery.
At times, you may experience breakthrough pain and may need to supplement your narcotic with an anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen, Motrin) medication. If recommended by the physician, it is safe to take Motrin 800mg every 8 hours with your narcotic. Please discuss this with the physician as it does depend on your normal daily medication regimen.