Dr. Shilpa G B

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Why do I still have pain after endometriosis surgery?

For many women, endometriosis surgery provides welcome relief from years of painful symptoms related to this chronic disease. However, for some patients, surgery is not always the complete solution they had hoped for.

While the endometrial growths and lesions may be surgically excised, residual pain can linger on even after what was expected to be a definitive procedure. As a woman living with endometriosis, having pain persist post-surgery can be disappointing and frustrating as you had anticipated a full resolution of symptoms.

However, it’s important to understand that there are often scientific reasons why surgical excision alone may not cure all pain in every case.

In this post, I will explore some of the potential medical explanations for ongoing pain after endometriosis resection and discuss options to find further relief. My aim is to provide patients with insightful information to have an informed discussion with their doctor about post-surgical care and management of any remaining discomfort.

Pain after surgery is normal

One of the key factors to comprehend is that experiencing some level of pain post-surgery is considered normal and certainly not indicative of surgical failure. Indeed, irrespective of the medical condition involved, most surgical procedures have a healing period associated with them, during which discomfort can be anticipated.

Specifically, in the case of endometriosis surgery, the body requires time to recover from the invasive process of excising the endometrial lesions. The surgical sites need to heal, and inflammation, a standard part of the body’s healing response, can cause temporary pain. This in no way signifies that the surgery was unsuccessful, but rather, is a normal part of the body’s healing mechanism.

Look for the cause for Lingering Pain

Several potential reasons might be contributing to the persistence of pain following endometriosis surgery. Scarring is one such factor. During the healing process, adhesions or scar tissues can form at the site of surgery, leading to discomfort. These scar tissues can cause organs to stick together, which may result in pain.

Additionally, there might be cases where all endometriosis was not entirely removed or has recurred. As endometriosis is a progressive condition, new lesions can develop post-surgery, perpetuating pain.

Furthermore, it’s also essential to consider the presence of other co-morbid conditions. Some women with endometriosis also have other pelvic conditions like Interstitial Cystitis or Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, which can also cause ongoing pain.

To better understand the root cause of the lingering pain, it would be beneficial to discuss these possibilities with your doctor. They might recommend an in-depth examination or additional diagnostic tests to gain further insight into your post-operative condition. This can guide them in suggesting the most appropriate management options for your continued discomfort.

Also, Read- The Impact of Endometriosis on Pregnancy

Managing Your Post-Operative Pain

There are several approaches available for managing post-operative pain. Medications can play a significant part in this management. Over-the-counter analgesics such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen can provide relief for mild to moderate pain while prescription medications, including opioids, may be necessary for more severe pain. However, these must be used with caution due to their potential for addiction and side effects.

Physical therapy can also be instrumental in managing post-operative pain. Therapists can advise on specific exercises to strengthen muscles and enhance flexibility, thereby reducing discomfort and promoting recovery. Modalities such as heat or cold therapy and therapeutic massage can also provide pain relief.

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness can help in coping with pain as well. These methods can reduce stress and help you to relax your muscles, lessening the perception of pain.

It’s important, however, to be aware that continual, unrelieved post-surgical pain is not normal. If your pain persists despite these strategies or increases over time, it’s a signal to re-evaluate your treatment plan with your doctor. Persistent pain may indicate an underlying issue that requires a different treatment approach or further surgical intervention.

Also, Read- The role of nutrition in endometriosis

Way ahead

In conclusion, assertive management of your post-operative pain is critical for a smooth recovery and the resumption of your daily activities. Explore all the options available to you, factor in their pros and cons, and make an informed decision in consultation with your surgeon.

It is your body and you have the right to be free of persistent post-operative pain. Should you experience ongoing discomfort that does not respond to the strategies discussed, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor or us.

The key to successful pain management is active participation, timely communication, and a willingness to seek help when needed. Let us strive for a pain-free recovery and better health outcomes.