Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Understanding Post-Surgical Pain

Dr. Erol Onel, a physician well-versed in the clinical process for drug approval, works for Heron Therapeutics, where he focuses on developing a new non-opioid drug to treat post-operative pain. In preparation for his medical career, Dr. Erol Onel earned his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. 

Patients about to undergo surgery often experience anxiety and uncertainty regarding the amount of pain they may experience following the procedure. The degree and type of discomfort will naturally depend on the details of the surgery. For example, long surgical incisions may be more painful than shorter ones, and more invasive surgeries will likely produce post-operative sensations distinct from and perhaps longer-lasting than minimally-invasive procedures. 

Post-surgical pain management is important not only for the comfort of patients but also for their recovery. For example, a patient who has his or her pain under control will likely become ambulatory sooner, and studies show that the sooner patients begin to move around following surgery, the less likely they are to suffer serious complications like blood clots and infections. 

Doctors have a wide variety of pain-management drugs available to them. These vary in strength, and include medications delivered by mouth or by IV.