How do I reduce incision pain?

An adequate amount of pain is to be expected after receiving a surgical incision.

Incision pain is to be expected after surgery because surgical incisions do not just cut the skin, but in some cases nerves, tissues, and even muscles. The surgeon will have specific guidelines for dealing with the pain, but in most cases it is just a matter of getting plenty of rest and taking the pain reliever as prescribed. Leaving the incision alone is often the best way to deal with the pain. Applying heat or cold, such as a heat pad or ice pack, is generally not recommended to deal with incision pain, as this can negatively affect the healing process.

Getting enough rest is important to control the pain of the incision.

The most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with incision pain is whether or not there is an adequate amount of pain and whether or not the incision is healing properly. The incision should be dry and free of pus and not hot to the touch. Slight redness is to be expected, but if the incision is bright red or has streaks coming out of it, it is likely infected. This is often associated with severe pain, and if any of these things occur, it’s important to call your doctor right away. Severe pain can also occur if the stitches or incision are separating, which also requires immediate medical attention.

Surgical incisions always cause pain because they cut through the skin and sometimes through nerves, tissue, and muscles.

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After surgery, the surgeon will likely prescribe pain relievers to treat pain in the incision. It’s important to take these pills as prescribed and not try to “resist”, which can delay the healing process. If you need to adjust your medication to take more or less, just talk to your doctor; most of them will be happy to adjust the dosage. To avoid causing additional pain, wait until after taking the pain reliever to change the bandage, and then be very careful not to hit it.

Ice packs can negatively impact the healing process of an incision and are generally not recommended.

Getting enough rest and following the doctor’s instructions regarding movement and lifting heavy items is also very important for managing incision pain. The first few days or even weeks after surgery are especially important to relax and sit or lie down to start the healing process. After that, avoid stretching, reaching, or lifting anything too heavy. All of these can aggravate the incision or, in the worst case, cause a hernia or cause the incision to actually open up. Other than that, it simply takes time for the incision pain to go away, which will vary depending on the extent of the actual incision.

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