Pain control is very important to Dr. Wodajo’s overall philosophy of patient care. It has a significant effect on the patient’s well-being and recovery. A carefully executed pain control regimen not only makes the surgical experience more pleasant, but allows for a quicker and more complete recovery. With the many pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical techniques available, both cancer and surgery-related pain can now be well controlled
Ambulatory Pain Pumps
Almost all patients who undergo outpatient surgery by Dr. Wodajo will be provided with an ambulatory pain pump. In this technique, a small tube is inserted in the incision at the time of surgery. The tube is connected to a small, inflatable reservoir filled with anesthetic fluid. As the reservoir deflates, the anesthetic fluid is slowly injected into the tissues. The mechanism is automatic, no intervention is required by the patient. The reservoir usually lasts about three days. With this technique, many patients will experience markedly decreased surgical pain and often report requiring little or no oral pain medications.
Patient controlled analgesia
Patient controlled analgesia (“PCA”) is the use of intravenous opiates, usually morphine, administered via a small pump controlled by the patient. The pump has settings that limit the frequency and total dosage. It is a well-established and very safe method of pain control.
Epidural anesthesia is well-established and commonly used, for example, with child birth. In this technique, a catheter is inserted into the patient’s back, in between the vertebrae, to bathe the spinal region with anesthetic agents. It is a very effective form of pain relief.
Many patients undergoing lower extremity bone procedures will have an epidural catheter placed before surgery. The catheter is usually left in place to provide pain relief for the first few days after surgery. It does, however, limit the amount the patient can ambulate, so after a few days, the catheter is removed and the physical therapy is begun.