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Surgery (robotic) is tomorrow - upper left segmentectomy


BetsyB22

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Good morning! I had my presurgical visit with anesthesia yesterday, and it looks like I will have input into the decision about what kind of post-op pain control I'll have. My choices will be an epidural or a nerve block. It sounds like the epidural is the most effective, but it can have complications if your blood pressure drops. Then they have to remove it. The nerve block sounds good, but I had one of those for my mastectomy, and it was not effective for me. 

Can anyone speak to experiences with pain control after robotic surgery? I had such a bad experience with my double mastectomy (which the anesthesiologist tells me is pretty typical) - I want to do everything I can to manage my pain. I'm not a big fan of opioids because of stomach upset. But I'll take them when needed for sure.

Thanks in advance for your help. You guys are the best. :)

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Betsy,

I had lots of "old style" surgery (thoracotomy) and I had neither an epidural or a nerve block in recovery. For about 2 days after surgery, I had a morphine push device wired into my IV and if I felt pain, I could self administer the drug. I was told a very small amount of morphine was injected and there were time intervals that precluded too frequent self injections but this got me through the significant pain.

With robotic surgery, you may not experience any significant pain. The incisions are small and ribs are not pushed out of the way so trauma is significantly reduced. I'm not a big fan of opioids either but I found a drug called Tramadol HCL to be an effective pain reliever when I need something stronger than non prescription pain medication.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Wow - really appreciate this! Makes me think I can pass on the epidural and rely on a pump (which I've had for other surgeries). 

Thanks again. So great to hear from someone who's been through a big surgery with success!

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