Post-operative gas pains - page 2

by Ashley, PICU RN 91,189 Views | 15 Comments

What are the best ways to relieve post-operative gas pains from laproscopic surgeries and open abdominal surgeries. Some of our kiddos even complain of pain in the neck/shoulders where the gas has escaped. The physiology behind... Read More


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    I had a lap chole a few months ago and I had the classic gas pains radiating to shoulder. They told me to walk and I did, but it didn't work much. I also laid on the opposite side of where the pain was.It definitely was the worst part of the surgery. Pain meds did help though
  2. 0
    'You mean there isn't a pill I can take for this??"

    hehe
  3. 0
    Quote from Ashley, PICU RN
    Thank you. I think I mean the referred pain from the diaphragm nerve (Phrenic nerve, I think). But I did remember a patient from nursing school who has serious crepitus in his neck, but I remember now that he was post-op a lobectomy, so a different surgical area. I appreciate the insight here. It looks like ambulation, pain mediation and time is really the only solution.
    Yep, he had an air leak from the injured lung (remember, surgery is just expensive trauma).
  4. 1
    In one of my nursing textbooks, Lewis et al say to put the patient into Sims position ( on left side with the right knee flexed). It says that this helps the air pocket move away from the diaphragm... I wish I'd read this before I did a GI surgical rotation where everyone was s/p lap. I also remember that this was the worst part about the lap surgeries for the patients.

    I suspect that walking might have made it worse in the short-run (after all, standing up straight would make the air pocket press right up against the diaphragm, right?), although perhaps it still helped in the long run?
    TriciaJ likes this.
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    Most of my patients who complained of referred gas pain were generally sitting up at the time. I would always have them put down the head of the bed and lie flatter, so the gas bubble could move down off the diaphragm. Left side-lying often helped, with the right knee drawn up toward the chest. I would also get them a warm blanket, keep it somewhat folded and place it where the pain was most severe. This seemed to help, but I'm not sure if it did anything physiological, or just the TLC factor.

    Didn't have a lot of luck with pain meds, unless it was for incisional pain. Gas, not so much.
  6. 0
    After multiple laparoscopic surgeries and enduring the shoulder pain, I finally found the only thing that helped was a heating pad on my shoulder. It helped tremendously and the last two surgeries (since I found this helps) have been much more bearable.


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