Post-operation pain: When to suspect surgical error

Having surgery is a major step, but you courageously do it with encouragement from your loved ones. Following your procedure, you might wake up to some discomfort, but your doctor reassures you this is normal. However, you may require immediate medical attention if you start experiencing excruciating pain.

Discomforts you might expect after surgery

Because of the stress a surgical procedure places on the human body, experiencing postoperative pain is common. The level of discomfort may vary according to an individual’s pain tolerance and the type of surgery. Typical symptoms following an operation include throat pain, tenderness and swelling at the incision site, thirst, nausea, and muscle aches.

After surgery, you might also face minor complications. These are part of the risks your doctor should have informed you about before the procedure. However, if your complications were unforeseen consequences of surgery or resulted from the doctor acting carelessly, you may have a medical malpractice claim.

Recognizing unusual pain

Though postoperative discomfort is to be expected, your doctor should do what they can to help you manage your pain. After surgery, they will prescribe medication and monitor your condition. It also helps if you are honest about how you feel with your doctors and nurses. Without proper pain management, it may become difficult for you to participate in therapy or sleep comfortably, slowing down your recovery.

Should you experience persistent or worsening pain, seek medical attention immediately. This pain may indicate complications or that something went wrong during your operation.

Complications from the initial procedure may require you to undergo an unplanned second surgery. Infections at the incision site, significantly delayed recovery, and loss of function in some body parts could also indicate potential surgical error.

What to do when you suspect surgical errors

If your pain intensifies or refuses to go away, consider taking the following steps:

  1. Document everything. Detail every aspect of your surgery and condition, including prescriptions and post-op care. Track your symptoms and note any changes in your health. Try to preserve test results, obtain copies of your surgical reports and take photos of your recovery process. Thorough documentation may help you later.
  2. Seek a second opinion from a qualified medical professional. Their assessment may help clarify and validate your concerns.

Although surgery comes with risks, you should not have to suffer because of preventable mistakes. Paying close attention to your condition after surgery is one way to safeguard your health and facilitate recovery.