Pain Management

Acute Pre & Post-Operative Pain Management

Our center not only provides outpatient services, but we also administer inpatient consults upon request from the patient's physician. The Pain Consultation Services (PCS) at Emory University Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown work with the Department of Anesthesiology to alleviate acute post-operative pain. On occasion, the PCS acts as the primary physician for hospitalized patients, with the admission and care directed by the patient's attending physician from the Center for Pain Management. Patient rounds are made on all patients at least once each day. We generally assess patients for efficacy of the pain-relieving technique, any possible side-effects, the need for adjunctive medications, the level of sedation, and patient satisfaction. With this service, you receive 24 hour coverage with an Anesthesiology resident or Pain Management fellow and an attending faculty member who is available for consultations, questions, or problems.

Effective pain relief is an important part of your treatment while you are in the hospital. There are ways to treat or control pain that can help to make you more comfortable while you are healing from your operation. Although it may not be possible to relieve all of your pain, you should be comfortable enough so that you can rest, cough, exercise and sleep. Controlling your pain may help you get well; quicker and avoid impending complications.

Different Ways to Take Pain Medicine

How do you treat pain?

We use minimally invasive techniques to target the pain at its source. Using this focused approach to treat pain we are able to minimize the undesirable side effects of medications that are often used to treat the pain symptoms such as itching, sedation, clouded thinking and constipation.

Usually you do not eat or drink right after your operation so instead of pills for pain you will take medicine in a small tube placed in a vein (IV) in your arm or in the epidural space in your back. Some operations cause more pain than others, and each person responds in a different way. Your doctor will talk with you about what is best for you. The IV medicine can be given to you by your nurse or you may have a pump that lets you have some control over when you take the medicine. After you are eating and drinking you can take pain pills. There is no reason for you to worry about getting "hooked" on pain medicine. This is very rare unless you already have a problem with addiction. You do need to tell the doctors and nurses about any medicine you have been taking for pain or other reasons. Mixing some medicines can cause problems.