The process used to decrease pain during and after your procedure is a complex one. The surgical team at The Breast Center at The Medical Center of Plano employs some of the newest techniques and medications to decrease pain both before and after surgery, improve rehabilitation, and allow for an early dismissal from the hospital.
In consulting with your Breast Center surgeon and anesthesiologist, a number of factors must be taken into account, including:
- Your past experience with anesthesia,
- Your current health and physical condition,
- The medications you’re currently taking, including any nutritional supplements, pain medications, and/or herbal remedies,
- Your past history with anesthesia, pain medications, and your specific allergies to medicines,
- The risks associated with each specific anesthesia drug or technique.
Before your procedure, you will undergo general anesthesia to put you into a deep sleep, so that you feel nothing while the surgery is under way. You will be placed on a breathing tube and your vital signs are monitored very closely during the operation.
The pain medicine is usually given by injection or inhalation. There are several different drugs used for this purpose. Your anesthesiologist will discuss the specific options with you.
General anesthesia entails certain known risks:
- Both your breathing and your heart rate will become slower; therefore, these and other vital signs will be constantly and carefully monitored throughout your procedure.
- Your blood vessels will tend to open wider, which may result in a heavier loss of blood during the surgery.
- The breathing tube may cause you to have a sore throat or a hoarse voice for several days afterward.
- Headache, nausea, and drowsiness are also not uncommon.
After the procedure, post-operative pain relief will be delivered intravenously. You will be able to control the flow of medication, within preset limits, as you feel the need for additional relief. This process is often referred to as “patient-controlled anesthesia,” or PCA.
Throughout the post-operative period, you will be closely monitored to ensure that no anesthesia-related complications develop. The anesthesia team may follow your pain control for several days.
Appropriate pain management before, during, and after your surgery is a very important aspect of your treatment. Take time to discuss the options with Dr. Anglin and Dr. Meade, and with any of The Medical Center of Plano’s expert anesthesiologists. Please feel free to ask questions about things you don't understand.
“What are the main factors to be considered in the selection of an anesthesia medicine?”
Your medical team at The Breast Center at The Medical Center of Plano will want to know whether you have ever had anesthesia before and, if so, what kind. They will also take into account your weight and overall health status, as well as whether you smoke, drink, or use recreational drugs.
“What are the risks associated with anesthesia?”
The risks will vary depending on your overall health and the type of anesthesia selected. In general, however, they include breathing difficulties, nausea, blood loss, and allergic reactions.
“During rehabilitation, is it O.K. to seek additional pain relief from over-the-counter medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen?”
The use of “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs” (NSAIDs) will need to be closely monitored by your medical team, as they could magnify the effects of any drugs you may be taking to suppress the formation of blood clots. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on the best medicine to decrease pain and speed your recovery process.