Swedish News Blog

Pain after surgery

Kathy Witmer, DNP, ARNP

Kathy Witmer, DNP, ARNP
Thoracic Surgery Clinical Team Leader

If you are scheduled to have surgery, it is normal to be concerned about pain you may experience after surgery.

The best time to talk about post-surgical pain is actually before your operation. Make sure you:

  • Talk to your surgeon about your experience with different methods of pain control.
  • Bring a current list of all your medicines and any drug allergies with you to your appointment.
  • Be honest about your alcohol and drug use. If you are abusing alcohol or drugs, you may experience withdrawal from these substances making your postoperative recovery difficult. If you are a recovering from alcohol or drug abuse we can design a pain management plan to reduce the chance for relapse.
  • Ask questions about the post-surgical pain: the severity, how long it will last, how it will be treated, what medications will be used, how they work, and their possible side effects.
  • Discuss any concerns you have about taking pain medications.

Surgical pain is common and should be expected after your procedure. Luckily, modern pain medications and anesthesia can minimize surgical pain. While we cannot eliminate all pain, we want to make you as comfortable as possible. Our pain management goals are simple:

A new treatment for GERD: The LINX - Reflux Management System

Brian E. Louie, MD

Brian E. Louie, MD
Director of Thoracic Research and Education

Acid reflux, heartburn and indigestion are all forms of gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. This common problem afflicts over 20 million people in the United States on a daily basis. As a surgeon who treats patients with some of the most severe symptoms of GERD, I was recently struck by the fact that very little has changed in the treatment of the debilitating problem over the last several decades.

Medications have always been the primary treatment for patients with GERD. TUMS, Rolaids, alka seltzer are easy over the counter remedies that could provide instant but only short-term relief. More potent medications called H2 receptor antagonists (commonly known as Zantac, Pepcid AC) brought about longer lasting relief. These medications were great but many patients experienced a relapse of symptoms.

The newest medications for GERD...

Pectus excavatum – it looks like the chest is sinking inward

Alexander Farivar, MD

Alexander Farivar, MD
Thoracic Surgeon

Have you ever noticed someone whose chest sinks inward in the front, kind of like a funnel? The first time I ever noticed this bony malformation was when I was in high school, and a friend of mine on the soccer team had one. It was called “pectus excavatum,” he told me.

In my thoracic surgery training, I was often called upon to evaluate patients with this chest wall abnormality. As a result, I began to delve deeper into some of the issues that may affect people with this type of defect.

Pectus excavatum is the most common chest wall deformity and results from abnormal development of the sternum and its attachments. Most patients are self conscious about the defect and usually focus on its appearance but because this is usually present for much of a person’s life, symptoms associated with it may not be totally obvious. Individuals affected generally get used to how they feel and try to overcome any limitations to the best of their abilities without even knowing that’s what they are doing. Most patients describe some chest discomfort, shortness of breath when exerting themselves, lack of endurance, or feeling embarrassed in social situations when their shirt is off. It is not uncommon to hear patients say that they have trouble keeping up with their friends during activities, or that they avoid any activities that would require them to take off their shirt in public-such as going to a pool.

Most physicians aren’t even aware that there is an effective treatment for pectus excavatum...

Swedish Robotic-Assisted Surgical Program Grows, Continues to Gain Momentum

Swedish News

Swedish Adds Third da Vinci Si HD Robot and Now Has the Fastest Growing, Most Experienced Robotic-Assisted Surgical Program in the Pacific Northwest

Swedish News
 

KCPQ TV Airs Story on Lung Cancer Awareness Featuring Swedish-Affiliated Thoracic Surgeon

Swedish News
SEATTLE, Dec. 2, 2009 -- In light of November having been Lung Cancer Awareness Month, KCPQ Television (Channel 13; FOX) aired a story about the deadly disease on Dec. 1 that featured interviews with Swedish-affiliated thoracic surgeon Ralph Aye, M.D., and one of his local lung-cancer patien...

Swedish Esophageal Cancer Program Surgeon Interviewed for Seattle Times Article on Local High-School Volleyball Player Facing Adversity

Swedish News
SEATTLE, Oct. 20, 2009 -- The Seattle Times published a story in today's issue about Kennedy Catholic high-school volleyball standout -- and Seamount League MVP candidate -- Jennica McPherson, who is scheduled to have surgery next week to remove a cancerous tumor in the 16-year-old's lung.Luck...
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