Analgesic Treatment

Various levels of pain may occur following an operation. Everyone feels pain differently, but nobody needs to suffer severe pain following surgery.

Analgesic treatment (treatment for freedom from pain) already begins during the operation by administering analgesics at the end of the operation so that they continue to have an effect for some time after surgery.

There are many options for the continuation of analgesic treatment.

Regularly administered tablets or drops may be sufficient for more minor operations, while more potent analgesics may also be administered on a drip. The general ward nursing staff are informed of this treatment when the patient is transferred to the ward, after which the nursing staff independently carry out the treatment on the ward. The anaesthetist is notified if necessary.

If more severe pain is anticipated before the operation begins, it is possible for a patient to self-administer analgesics by means of a pain pump. These pumps are programmed in such a manner that the drug can only be dispensed at specific intervals in order to rule out overdosage and reduce any potential adverse effects. This method is known as PCA (patient controlled analgesia) and enables patients to independently combat pain to a great extent. The anaesthetist will mention this method during the pre-anaesthetic briefing.

It is also possible to carry out treatment using pain catheters. Information about the various catheter systems and their applications can be found on the page "Local Anaesthesia (regional anaesthesia)".

In this form of pain treatment, either a pump that continuously dispenses the analgesic is connected to the system  or the anaesthetist administers analgesic medication twice a day. The duty anaesthetist visits the patient at least twice a day to enquire about the patient's condition, to ensure that the catheter is functioning and to adapt the analgesic dosage as required. Information and advice about this form of analgesic treatment is also provided during the pre-anaesthetic briefing.

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Academic teaching hospital of the RWTH technical university, Aachen

Clinic for Anaesthesia and Surgical Intensive Care

Dechant-Deckers-Str. 8
52249 Eschweiler

+49 2403 - 76-1891

St.-Antonius-Hospital gGmbH
Dechant-Deckers-Str. 8
52249 Eschweiler
tel.: 02403 76 - 0
fax: 02403 76 -1119

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