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Severe Shoulder Pain after Surgery Severe Shoulder Pain after Surgery

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Unread 10-04-2008, 06:13 AM
Severe Shoulder Pain after Surgery

I setup my wife here so she would perhaps come and discuss her experience.

She had the Laparascopic Hysterectomy on Monday Sept 29th.

She didn't come out of post op for 4-5 hours. They never told me until the next day that she had trouble breathing after the anesthesia.

When she woke she immediately began complaining of severe shoulder pain and loss of feeling in both arms. Nurses didn't respond to her pleas. After a day in pain, we finally got them to give here something for pain. There was some relief after they gave here Darvocet 650 mg tablets. She had no use of her arms for two days after the surgery and now has limited feeling and use of both forearms. She is still wracked with excruciating pains in both shoulders. She has to sleep sitting up and only gets what fitful sleep the Darvocet forces on her. I came here and researched the forums regarding such pains. We tried the GAS-X to help remove possible gas collected in the shoulder joints. Didn't make sense to me but we tried. Not much help. Loss of feeling and severe pain now leads me to think they may have injured her shoulders moving her from the bed to the table or vice versa. At this time the surgeon has made NO post op exam, having someone else do that and discharge her. The pain STILL persists - five days after the operation and the arms weren't even why she had the hysterectomy anyway. The pain makes her cry for hours. I am at a loss to beleive this is just accumulated gas from the anesthesia collected in her shoulder joints.

I called the surgeon and asked for help. Nobody has returned out calls yet.

Anyone got any pointers to offer?

PS, she has nearly zero pain at the incision points for the LH surgery.

Marci's husband Tom
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Unread 10-04-2008, 07:28 AM
Severe Shoulder Pain after Surgery

Ooh, I'm sorry your wife is having so much pain! I had very bad lap gas pains after my LAVH. VERY painful. I couldn't take a deep breath, couldn't lay certain ways, etc. Nothing took away the pain - it just had to work itself out, which took about 5-6 days. I don't know what to say about the loss of feeling in her arms..I would get on the phone and DEMAND to see someone or bring her to the's hard to not get any answers...I hope she feels better soon!
Unread 10-04-2008, 07:33 AM
Severe Shoulder Pain after Surgery

I have several surgeries prior to my hyster and the SHOULDER pain was by far worse than ANY surgical pains... If you can, you have got to try to get her up and walking. I am so so sorry she is in so much pain.
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Unread 10-04-2008, 07:45 AM
Severe Shoulder Pain after Surgery

Originally Posted by LookingforaSis
I have several surgeries prior to my hyster and the SHOULDER pain was by far worse than ANY surgical pains... If you can, you have got to try to get her up and walking. I am so so sorry she is in so much pain.
Looking, what IS the pain, what causes it, and where does it come from? Why is it there, and how long did it last for you?

I am sure these are some of the questions running around in Tom's mind. Any insight would be awesome if you can provide it!

Besides...I think all of us are very curious too.

Tom, I am so sorry your wife is having such a hard time!
Unread 10-04-2008, 07:54 AM
Severe Shoulder Pain after Surgery

i had horrible shoulder pain in my left shoulder only. i had to let my arm just dangle because the pain was so severe, i couldnt use my arm. if its from the lap gas, it will dissolve. she needs to walk and move around as much as she can so it will dissolve quicker. gas-x doesnt help with that kind of gas pain..thats for intestinal gas. but, if you have any doubts about what this pain is, you should take her to the emergency room to get it checked. i hope she feels better soon.
Unread 10-04-2008, 08:09 AM
Severe Shoulder Pain after Surgery

I'm sorry your wife is in so much pain. I had the same problem with my right shoulder. My arm and hand were numb. The nurses told me to lay down flat with a pillow under my knees. I mean totally flat - this is how i slept at night. They also recommened shoulder massages. She needs to drink lots of water and get up and walk around.

I hope she is feeling better soon.

47 yo
LSH 9/23/08
Unread 10-04-2008, 09:25 AM
Severe Shoulder Pain after Surgery

Tom...I had terrible pain in my shoulder and my right side. I couldn't move and felt like I couldn't breathe, it was scary. I understand your frustration as the nurse just thought I was having anxiety from the surgery. No one told me about the Lap Gas pain. As the other "sisters" have said here, it does work it's way out and eventually will go away. When I got home and looked it up on the internet I learned that the diaphram and the shoulder actually share some of the same nerves which explains why it hurt to breathe. This made me feel better as at least I understood what was going on. Also that many women feel this pain is worse than the actual incision/tummy pain. But if her numbness continues I definately would continue to call the Dr and be seen.

Take care & just know that "this too shall pass."
Unread 10-04-2008, 11:25 AM
Severe Shoulder Pain after Surgery

you are very sweet in looking for help for your wife, her surgery was laparoscopy and they filled her stomach with gas and that gas if not taken all out (most of the time they dont), thats when we get that shoulder/arm pain. it should be getting better as the days pass, if you are very concerned and pain still persists, please take her to the doctor or ER.
it would be a good idea for her to walk and move around for those gases to come out. a good massage on her shoulders may aliviated her pain some.

tell Marci that we would love to hear from her and write to us when she is able to, praying she feels better soon.
Unread 10-04-2008, 11:44 AM
Severe Shoulder Pain after Surgery

Tom, I understand you frustration, on one hand it could be gas but what if its not and you don't do anything. I will say that after my tubal in 2006 the shoulder and arm pain was horrible and yes it was bad enough to cry. This time I got out lucky and had only minimal pain due to gas. But there were times it would let up which is what concerns me about Marci I would think that it shouldn't be constant. Please keep us updated.
Unread 10-04-2008, 11:59 AM
Severe Shoulder Pain after Surgery

Tom, it's very kind of you to seek out information to help your wife as she deals with her recovery. She is a very lucky woman to have you looking out for her.

As this is a women to women site, men are asked not to register and post on the message boards but are encouraged instead to visit the site for family and friends found here:

We look forward to meeting your wife when she feels well enough to post for herself. The information and support she will receive here should be very helpful as she works her way through recovery.

Thanks in advance for understanding the need to keep this site for women to women support only. In keeping with the site Guidelines, this thread is being closed.
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