Surgery & Pain Control

We know that surgery can be hard 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. Surgery pain control plays a critical part in your recovery.

Surgery Pain Control

Before surgery, your anesthesiologist will review your medical history and then make a 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 Health 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. 

See more about:

Rate Your Pain

We can't get rid of all pain. So we ask you to rate your pain. This helps us understand how best to help. Use this pain rating scale to tell us:

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