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Why does my child have pain after surgery?

Pain tells your child that their body is healing and that they might need to balance activity with rest. It is an uncomfortable but natural part of recovery.

The amount of pain, how long it lasts, and when it peaks varies based on the procedure that the child undergoes. Each child can have a different emotional response to pain as well which changes their pain experience.

Every child recovers from surgery in their own way, and kids who have the same procedure might have completely different experiences of pain. In most cases, the pain will not be permanent and will get better with time and with healing. This is called acute pain. The goal with acute pain is to treat it in a safe way so that children can heal and recover well. They should be able to drink, eat, and sleep as best as possible given their post-surgical condition.

Pain can be managed using both medication and non-medication options as part of a larger pain management plan to be discussed with your surgeon.

Next Page: Questions to Ask Your Child’s Surgeon