Will You Hurt After Your C-Section, How Badly Do You Think It Will Hurt?

Women have real pain, but often our mind set has as much to do with actually how much pain we will have. Trying to figure out pain responses of our patients to their Gyno Surgery has always been perplexing. The "Will it hurt" question from a patient is definitely in the line up of facts we go over before we do a surgery on anyone, but to some extent it is over shadowed by the questions of should you have surgery, and what type of surgery, and the follow up you need. How much it will hurt is always discussed, but hard to predict. Someone took a knife and traced your bikini line for a few inches, so is that sort of a "duh", well, pain doesn't have to be!

Dr. Ashley Tonidandel from Wake Forest U published a study in the Clinical Journal of Pain, and began to study the critical factors of anxiety, and pain medicine use likelihood as well as other issues that would impact successful pain (minimizing) free surgery. Her scale was 1-100 and she was studying women undergoing repeat C-sections. And she came up with a prediction tool for docs. Based on 1)what do you think your pain level will be, 2)how anxious are you about your surgery, and 3)how much pain medication will you use. Simple and straight forward, and the scores were surprisingly accurate.  And interestingly enough, if you have a lot of pain at a surgery, more than the average amount of pain at a surgery, then you might turn into a chronic pain patient. So what you and your gyno have to gab about is the perception of pain and what you can do to lessen that perception. In a new study the by Sword and colleagues in the British Journal of Obstetrics and gynecology they actually looked into the subject of C-sections and whether having the c-section would lead women to be more depressed. In fact it was not one of the factors associated with experiencing post partum depression, so that was positive! Have you had a C-section? What was your experience?

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