HysterSisters Articles for Hysterectomy
Pain Medication Refills after Hysterectomy
From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List
SHARING IS CARING
Why won’t my doctor refill my pain medication prescription?
There are several reasons that doctors may opt not refill narcotic pain pill prescriptions following a hysterectomy. Concerns can range from constipation to addiction. Plus, not all women need pain medication following a hysterectomy.
A big issue is that many pain medications are notorious for causing constipation, a side effect that can be especially problematic for women who have had a hysterectomy. As you get further into recovery and your pain decreases, switching to over-the-counter pain relievers can be helpful for both pain and the constipation concerns
. Check with your doctor to ask what type and dose is appropriate for you.
Use of pain medications can give patients the feeling that they can resume their normal activities too soon because their body’s warning system has been silenced by the pain medications. Patients may vacuum, lift, clean, go grocery shopping, etc. as they mistakenly feel like they are healing quickly and well, when in reality the pain medications prevent them from feeling the aches that would have warned them they needed to rest.
Overdoing activities while on pain medications can then lead to issues with addiction, continuing a domino effect. Patients may believe they need more pain medication because their pain is getting worse, but the increased pain can be from using the medication in the first place. A developing addiction can cause physical behaviors that include overuse of the healing part of the body, poor posture from a lack of sensation when in positions that wouldn’t be comfortable without the medications, and a lack of gentle strengthening exercises. When recovering from a hysterectomy, there is already surgical pain, a change in posture during the recovery, and exercise restrictions, so patients can more easily fall into the pain medication trap.
Abuse of prescription pain medication is a very real problem today for people of all ages and walks of life. Some people become addicted to prescription pain medications following a legitimate injury or illness. They may continue to take the medication once the pain issue has been alleviated as it has been helping them relax and/or sleep. Later, a stressful situation arises and the leftover pills offer a means of escape for a little while.
Depending on a doctor’s experience, s/he may be reluctant to prescribe more than a handful of prescription pain pills even though a woman has just undergone a major surgery. The issue is not necessarily that the doctor feels the patient has an addiction problem or even that the patient does not have legitimate pain; it is simply protective protocol for the doctor and the patient.
Here are some tips that can help a woman work with her medical team so she has adequate pain control for her recovery without causing new problems.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.
- Not all surgeons are equipped to prescribe, or are comfortable prescribing, pain medications past the initial 20 or 30, especially if this doctor is your surgeon only and not a doctor with whom you have a long term relationship. Thus, it can be very important to have a good relationship with your primary physician who may be more willing to manage the pain and prescribe pain medications. A doctor who knows you well is going to be more aware of your ability to use prescription pain medications wisely.
- Keeping a symptom diary can help you and your doctor be more aware of the specific pain and how it is being managed. If a doctor can “see” what you are experiencing, s/he may be more willing to help with pain medications.
- Communicating clearly and unemotionally is a plus. The more agitated one is, the more red flags that may be raised that the pain medications are not being used carefully and safely.
- If you need a refill, call and ask to be scheduled to see the doctor because you are having ongoing pain issues rather than calling for a refill of pain medications. If your doctor understands you are serious about your recovery, and you realize that your pain may not be normal, s/he is more likely to continue to help you once s/he is assured there is a need.
04-23-2011 - 07:05 AM
SHARING IS CARING
Do you have a question?
If you have a medical support question related to this article, come JOIN US in our HysterSisters Community Forums. You will receive helpful replies to your questions from our members. See you there!
HysterSisters Free Hysterectomy Booklet
What 350,000 Women Know About Hysterectomy with 50 pages of information, helpful tips and hints as you prepare and recover from hysterectomy through an organized timeline.
Recommended for Hysterectomy Recovery
Mesh panties are stretchy and light - perfect for holding peri pads securely during hysterectomy recovery. [...More]
Post-operative compression panty with medical grade silicone to speed hysterectomy recovery + reduce scarring. [...More]
Softest Bra Ever
When you want to wear something, but feel nothing. Two in a value pack for your hysterectomy recovery. [...More]
Options to Hysterectomy
Hormone and Menopause
Intimacy after Hysterectomy
Fitness after Hysterectomy
Grief and Loss
Ask A Doctor
Find a Surgeon
|Ted Lee, M.D.
Magee Womens Hospital
300 Halket Street
Pittsburgh PA 15213
412 641 6412
|Paul MacKoul, M.D.
3206 Tower Oaks Blvd, Suite 150
Rockville MD 20852
|Ranae Yockey, M.D.
800 Biesterfield Suite 750
Elk Grove Village IL 60007
|Tiffany Gebel, M.D.
400 Hospital Drive, Suite 210
Corsicana TX 75110
903 641 4835
|James Kondrup, M.D.
161 Riverside Drive
Binghamton NY 13905
|Jack Ayoub, M.D.
44035 Riverside Parkway
Leesburg VA 20176
|Catalin Marinescu, M.D.
415 Old Newport Blvd
Newport Beach CA 92663
|Ellen Wilson, M.D.
5323 Harry Hines Blvd - Dept of OBGYN
Dallas TX 75390
|Francisco Garcini, M.D.
1870 Silver Cross Blvd
New Lenox IL 60451