Pain relief can fall short after gynecologic surgery

  • Blog Post by: Colleen Stoxen
  • April 9, 2012 - 3:42 PM

For some women having a hysterectomy or other gynecologic surgery, at-home plans for pain relief may not be good enough, according to a new study.

Of 127 women who had their surgeries at one Utah medical center, about half told researchers their pain control was falling short three days after leaving the hospital.

Two weeks later, 23 percent of women whose surgery had involved cutting into the abdomen were still feeling their pain wasn't controlled -- as were five percent of those who had vaginal surgery.

Even more were still in need of narcotic painkillers at the two-week mark: one-third of women who'd had abdominal surgery, and 10 percent of those who'd had vaginal surgery.

The study, reported in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, is a rare inquiry into how women fare during at-home recovery from gynecologic surgery.

"It's just amazingly understudied," said lead researcher Dr. Ingrid Nygaard, of the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City.

One reason it's so important to understand what goes on during home recovery is that hospital stays are now much shorter than they were years ago.

Read more from Reuters.

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