Post Surgical Pain

Post Mastectomy Syndrome
Read about Post Mastectomy Syndrome here.

Post Thoracotomy Syndrome

Pain that recurs or persists along a thoracotomy incision at least two months following the surgical procedure. In general, it is burning and stabbing pain with dysesthesia and thus shares many features of neuropathic pain. PTPS is increasingly acknowledged by anesthesiologists and surgeons alike. There are many reasons for chronic pain after thoracotomy including intercostal nerve damage, type of incision, and tumor recurrence. Despite a commonly held belief that post-thoracotomy pain is transient, there is no evidence that the pain experience decreases significantly over time. For many patients, even the gentlest stimulation provokes intense pain, making participation in routine daily activities impossible.

Post-hernia Syndrome

Inguinal neuralgia, also known as post-herniorrhaphy pain syndrome, is a condition associated with chronic pain in the abdominal area or groin following open inguinal hernia surgery. An inguinal hernia is characterized by the protrusion of the abdominal cavity contents through the inguinal canal. This condition is repaired with surgery. However, some patients experience pain directly at the surgical site, while others may have continued pain in the abdomen or groin. Generally, health care professionals prescribe physical therapy, pain management therapy or anti-inflammatory pain medication for these patients. Repeat surgery is usually recommended as a last resort no sooner than a year after the initial surgery. Sufferers of inguinal neuralgia should seek treatment from a health care provider.

Meshomas are the result of complications that occur with the use of mesh during hernia surgery. Although use of mesh has lowered the recurrence of an inguinal hernia after hernia repair, they cause certain complications. Mesh may be implanted without fixation or may be fixed in place with tissue adhesive, staples or tacks. According to the American Medical Association, lack of fixation, improper fixation or lack of dissection, leaving little to no room for the prosthesis, is a problem. This can cause the mesh to fold and wrinkle up until it becomes a wadded-up ball. Scar tissue or tissue damage resulting from hernia surgery can also cause pain. Actually, scar tissue can result from injury, repetitive motion or surgery. When tissue damage happens, a healing process begins to take place. Inflammation occurs for the first few days. Then the damaged tissue heals with scar tissue formation rather than forming brand new tissue. It’s characterized by fibrotic tissue that dies and forms in ligaments, tendons, muscles and fascia. Research shows that scar tissue is weak, less malleable and subject to reinjury, with 1,000 times more sensitivity to pain than tissue that is healthy. This results in chronic pain that can remain for years. At the time of hernia surgery, nerve damage can occur as a result of nerves getting trapped in sutures or mesh. Benign tumors, also known as neuromas or nerve tumors, can develop after the surgery is done. A neuroma is characterized by swelling of the nerve and is caused by trauma or compression. The swelling in the nerve can cause permanent nerve damage, resulting in pain and discomfort.

Phantom Limb Syndrome

Approximately 60 to 80 % of individuals who have undergone amputations report phantom limb sensation. Phantom sensation is also observed in those who are born without limbs and in those who are paralyzed.

The phantom limb feels shorter, distorted and, is often, painful. The pain occurs intermittently, can be quite agonizing and is aggravated by stress, anxiety and by weather changes. The frequency of painful attacks usually decreases with time.

Pain is not reported by all the amputees, however, various types of phantom sensations, have been reported such as itches, twitching, tightness, burning, gesturing or even as if they are picking up something. A phantom sensation has been reported after removal of breast, tooth and eye.

During the past two decades, doctors have attempted to treat phantom limb pain with a variety of method.

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