Your anaesthetist will have discussed with you the ways of controlling your pain after your operation. You can expect to have good pain relief.

• Good pain relief is important.

• It prevents suffering, helps you breathe and move more easily hastening your recovery.

• Some people will need more pain relief than others.

• It is much easier to relieve pain if it is dealt with before it gets worse. So ALWAYS ask for help as soon as you feel pain.

Some common ways of getting pain relief:

• Pills, tablets or liquids to swallow. Example: paracetamol, ibuprofen, diclofenac and tramadol.

• Injections: These are given via direct injection in your arm or your thigh. OR via a plastic tube (cannula) in your hand.

• Suppositories: These are pellets that are placed in your back passage. The pellets dissolve and the drug passes into your body. This is useful if you cannot swallow or if you might vomit.

Special pain relief techniques:

Patient controlled analgesia (PCA):

This is a method using a machine that allows you to control your pain relief yourself. There is a separate information leaflet regarding this method. It is offered for certain operations only.

Epidural analgesia:

This is only offered for certain operations. More details can be found in the epidural leaflet.

Other regional techniques:

Regional analgesia blocks passage of pain impulses through a nerve by depositing an analgesic drug via an injection close to the nerve.

Pain management Unit:

• During normal working hours, there is a team of nurses who specialise in post-operative pain relief under the supervision of the anaesthetist.

• If you are having major surgery, they may visit you before you have your operation to counsel you on the type of pain relief available.

• After the operation, they will come to visit you regularly to make sure you are getting adequate pain relief and to solve any problems which might arise.