Pain Management

Pain ManagementOptimal acute pain control (analgesia) after surgery is not only important for your satisfaction, but also to minimise negative outcomes after your operation, such as:

  • Fast heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain or heart attack
  • Difficulty breathing leading to increased risk of chest infection
  • Poor wound healing
  • Blood clots in your leg
  • Persistent pain which may continue in the long term
  • Depression

Extensive and ongoing research in pain management has revealed many of the causes of the development of persistent pain. This has highlighted the importance of a well constructed multimodal pain relief plan for all surgery. Recently, there has been an explosion of new pharmaceutical agents to treat acute pain.

At POSA we support our surgeons with evidence-based pain relief plans that are designed for you. These plans are tailored to your medical conditions, as well as the type of surgery you are having.

What may be involved in your ‘Multimodal Pain Relief Plan’

1) Oral Analgesia – medicines for minor to moderate pain, given via the mouth, which include:

  • Simple pain relief (eg. Paracetamol, Anti-inflammatory medication such as Nurofen)
  • Opiate pain relief (eg. Morphine, Oxycodone)
  • Non-Opiate relief (eg. Tramadol)
  • Special and complex pain relief (eg. Pregabalin)

2) Intravenous analgesia and Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA)

Used for moderate to severe pain. Your anaesthetist may also prescribe a PCA for you if you are unable to take oral pain relief. This allows intermittent delivery of small doses of medication, controlled by you, as required. A PCA is commenced in the recovery room after your surgery.

3) Ketamine

Strong pain medicine used as an infusion in conjunction with Opiate pain relief for severe pain. It enhances the effect of Opiate pain medication and aids in preventing and managing chronic pain.

5) Regional Analgesia

Involves the administration of local anaesthetic to the nerves covering the site of your surgery. Please refer to Peripheral nerve blocks, Spinals and Epidurals for more information.

Your anaesthetist will discuss your individual pain management plan with you. We encourage you to raise your specific questions and concerns with them prior to your procedure.


Managing acute pain – a guide for patients