Patients undergo surgery with hope of treating the existing problem, so when the pain develops after the procedure, it is very disheartening even if the original problem was successfully addressed. This is even more complicated when patient had surgery to help with existing pain and ends up with the pain that is more severe than the pain she went in.
Pain after surgery depends on the type of surgery, positioning for the procedure and type of surgical materials used.
Type of surgery – pelvic surgery may lead to pelvic floor muscle spasm. Back surgery may lead to back muscle spasm which may lead to pelvic floor muscle spasm. Any open abdominal or pelvic surgery may lead to adhesions which may cause pelvic pain. Minimally invasive procedures such as laparoscopy or robotic surgery decrease the risk of adhesion formation after surgery. Any incision in the abdomen whether open or minimally invasive has a small risk of injuring abdominal wall nerves such as ilioinguinal or iliohypogastric.
Positioning for surgery may cause compression of certain pelvic nerves which in turn may lead to pain. Nerve blocks and nerve ablations may help in cases of nerve pain related to positioning.
Surgical materials – relates to the use of permanent vs. dissolvable sutures and pelvic mesh. In surgery both permanent and dissolvable sutures are used however, the latter are used much more often. Sometimes permanent sutures may have higher risk of causing inflammation and pain. For that reason, review of operative reports of previous surgeries is particularly important. Pelvic mesh is known in some cases to cause pelvic pain. In patients who have developed pain after surgery involving use of polypropylene mesh the possibility of mesh causing pain should be considered very seriously.
If your pain started as a result of surgical procedure it is very important that you provide us with the operative report and pathology report (if any) of this procedure. It is best if they are uploaded early so they can be reviewed prior to your visit. On instructions how to upload your documents please see section “New Patients”
If you or someone you know developed pain after pelvic surgery, call our office at 480-599-9682 or email [email protected] to learn more about available treatments.