Surgery & Pain Control

We know that surgery can be a difficult experience for you and your family. Our goal is to help you move, breathe, eat, sleep and be comfortable so you recover as soon as possible.

Having Surgery: What to Expect

It is important to know what to expect before you come for surgery.  It is best to prevent and treat pain early and effectively. 

Making a Plan to Control Pain

Before surgery, your anesthesiologist will review your medical history and then make plan with you about what medication to use.

Tablet or IV?

We give most patients heading into surgery oral medicines in a tablet or capsule instead of an IV. Our work here at UVA has shown that oral medicines offer a safe and effective alternative to IV medicines.  

Pain medicines taken by mouth, in a patch form or as a suppository also last longer than IV medicines.

Pain-Reduction Strategies

We may give you more than one medication. Research shows that using different medicines together results in the same or better pain relief than one medicine alone.

We also offer non-medicine treatments like ice or heat, distraction and relaxation. 

Rate Your Pain

Not all pain can be eliminated, so your healthcare team will ask you to rate your pain using the UVA pain rating scale. At any time, tell your healthcare provider:

  • ƒƒWhen your pain began and how long it lasted
  • If the pain is new
  • ƒƒWhere you feel your pain
  • ƒƒHow much your pain bothers you, and how it feels (sharp, dull or ache)
  • ƒƒWhat you are unable to do because of your pain
  • ƒƒWhat makes your pain feel better and what makes it feel worse

Preparing for Surgery: Patient Education Resources

93004 Spanish--Pain Control for Surgery

Information to give patients/families having surgery with Surgery Packet to help understand options for pain management in Spanish

93004--Pain Control for Surgery

Information to give patients/families having surgery with Surgery Packet to help understand options for pain management.

14135--Preparing for Surgery in the Main Operating Room

A checklist for patients to them prepare for surgery in the main operating room

14135-Spanish--Preparing for Surgery in the Main Operating Room

Information for clinics to give patients who are coming to PETC and/or to SAS for surgery/procedure

14001--Adults Preparing for Surgery at Outpatient Surgery Center Handbook

Overview for preparing for ADULTS surgery at U.Va. Outpatient Surgery Center (OPSC)

14001-Spanish--Preparing for Surgery, UVA Outpatient Surgery Center Handbook

Overview preparing for surgery at UVa Outpatient Surgery Center in Spanish