A Message Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Post-Surgical Pain Specialist

Pain Institute of Southern Arizona

Pain Management & Pain Medicine located in Tucson, AZ & Green Valley, AZ

Persistent postsurgical pain may be one of the most common problems no one is talking about. It’s estimated that 10-50% of all surgery patients develop chronic postoperative pain that continues long after their body heals. The doctors at the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona have the expertise to identify the cause of your postsurgical pain and provide the advanced treatments you need to finally get some relief. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices throughout Tucson, Oro Valley, Green Valley, Safford, Benson and Willcox, Arizona, or request an appointment online. You can also visit Regional Pain Institute in Apache Junction, San Tan Valley, and Gilbert, Arizona, a division of the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona.

Post-Surgical Pain Q & A

What type of pain should I expect after surgery?

It’s impossible to predict the extent of the pain you may feel after surgery because each person has a different level of tolerance. The severity of your pain also depends on the type of surgery. Conventional open surgery with one large incision causes more trauma to your body. By comparison, minimally invasive surgery uses small incisions that may not need to cut through the muscle, and it also causes minimal bleeding.

One thing is certain: It’s reasonable to expect pain following surgery. Your surgeon will help with the acute pain in the weeks following your procedure. But if your acute postsurgical pain turns into an ongoing problem, you can count on the expertise of the team at the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona.

What causes chronic postsurgical pain?

When your postsurgical pain lasts 2-6 months after your procedure, and all other causes for the pain have been ruled out, you have chronic or persistent postoperative pain (PPOP). Damage to major nerves during surgery is one important cause of PPOP. However, there are many cellular changes that occur in your body during surgery that can contribute to PPOP.

Another key factor that contributes to PPOP is a condition called pain sensitization. When your body sustains the trauma of surgery, plus postsurgical inflammation and pain, then biochemical changes can occur that make your nerves more sensitive to pain.

The experts have also identified a few factors that increase your risk of PPOP:

  • Preoperative pain
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Female gender and younger age
  • Open surgery
  • Surgery lasting longer than 3 hours
  • Intensity and duration of your pain following surgery

Don’t ever hesitate to talk with your doctor if your postoperative medications fail to control your pain in the days after surgery. The intensity and duration of your pain during this period have a significant influence on whether you’ll develop hypersensitive nerves and chronic pain.

How is postsurgical pain treated?

The doctors at the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona have numerous treatment techniques that effectively relieve pain by targeting the nerves responsible for your pain. You can’t feel pain unless your nerves relay messages to your brain. After your doctor identifies the nerves responsible for those messages, several treatments, such as nerve blocks and spinal cord stimulation, can be used to block the signals, stop them from reaching your brain, and relieve your pain.

If you suffer from postsurgical pain, call the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona or request an appointment online.

What we offer

Pain Ailments and Conditions