What Did You Have for Pain Relief After a Thoracotomy

cinnamonsmile Member Posts: 1,187 Member

I recently had a thoracotomy on my left side on July 31,2013. They removed a plum sized mass from the lower left lung. I also have severe nerve damage pain from when I had a bilateral mastectomy w/node removal for breast cancer.

I am in excruciating amounts of pain.I know this is a very painful surgery but holy smokes.

I am better than I was Sunday morning, but I seem to have reached a plateau in pain recovery.

I am taking 1-2 hydrocodone/acetaminophen 5-325 every 4 hours (except at night I only take one twice while sleeping).

Is this what others of you took for pain? The nurse I spoke with told me that is all they give for pain meds and basically treated me like a drug addict looking for more meds. I get so disgusted from attitudes like that.

I was just wondering what others were prescribed for home use after the surgery? 

Thanks in advance for any help.


  • dennycee
    dennycee Member Posts: 857 Member
    Who is in charge of your pain management?

    In no way should you be treated like that. If this is your oncologist or surgeon, talk it over with your internist or primary care dr.  Better yet, find a palliative care (in US) or a pain care specialist.  Next time in that dr office, tell him how you were treated.  I had the same issue and my dr now has given me names of two people I should talk to who handle refills and new Rx.  You need to get free of pain or mch reduced pain in order to heal and pick up your stamina.  Frame of mind is everything and pain definitely affects that!  

    After my thorachotomy, I had nerve pain and my primary care dr gave me gabapentin 300 mg three times a day.  For my extended pain issues I have a 25 mcg Fentanyl patch.  For breakthrough pain I take oxycodone 5-325 as needed. Others have had good luck with Cymbalta or Lyrica for nerve pain.   If the pain is so bad you can't sleep go to the ER.  Make it clear that it is for that day only.  

    Please let me know what happens.  

    Edit: don't forget to increase your stool softeners when adding more or stronger pain meds.