PATIENT RESOURCES / DR’s Blog

Are you worried about pain after plastic surgery?

I see a lot of patients in my practise for a variety of different types of plastic surgery. I think it is really important to take plenty of time to explain surgery options and expectations to my patients. One of the topics that comes up commonly is the recovery period. Typically, this includes “how long will I be off work or exercise?”, “what will the dressing care be like?”, “what is the follow-up plan?” and “what pain should I expect?”. Of course the answer to these questions depends on the type of plastic surgery that a patient is having. One thing I make sure to explain is how I will keep my patient comfortable after surgery.

So how do I manage pain after surgery? Well, it actually starts before surgery.

The first thing we do is discuss any concerns that you may have had in the past with any pain medications. For some people, there are drugs that don’t work as well. For others, certain drugs may cause side effects they don’t like. By discussing this, I am able to tailor the drug treatment better for my patients. I give my patients a prescription ahead of time, so they will have it and can relax after surgery rather than scrambling to get it. Everything has very clear directions to make it easy.

Before surgery

The next thing I do to make sure that you are comfortable after surgery is to give you several medications before surgery. There are several different types of pain receptors in the body. Different classes of drugs work on different pain receptors. By using several different types of medications before surgery, we can keep you more comfortable during and after. I had the help of an anesthesiologist with a subspecialty interest in pain management when designing the ideal regimen.

During Surgery

The post-operative pain reduction strategies continue during the surgery. This includes the different medications that the anesthesiologist gives to provide long-term pain relief. The other thing that I do when possible, is to block the pain right at the source. I use a long acting pain reliever to do so. This is injected right at the site to provide local anaesthesia so you don’t get the same pain stimulus in the first place. This helps to minimize other drugs that you need during surgery (making your wake-up even easier) and keeps you more comfortable after.

After Surgery

Finally, the drugs that you get after surgery are tailored to your needs. I again employ the strategy of using multiple different medications so that you can get as much pain relief as possible without the side effects. The biggest benefit is limiting the amount of opioids that people require. This includes percocet, codeine, oxycodone, tramadol, diludid, demerol, etc. These are great drugs for keeping you comfortable but can cause sedation and constipation. By using other medications, it allows my patients to be kept comfortable while minimizing these problems.

The final added-touch to keep you comfortable?

At your follow-up

On occasion, a patient needs drains after surgery. Although I don’t use them often, when I do, I want the removal to be as comfortable as possible. I see a lot of patients that have a lot of apprehension about drains. I think they read information on-line that worries them. Quite frankly, I just don’t get it! A small drop of freezing goes a long way. Most of my patients say, “that’s it?!?” when they realize I have pulled the drain out and they felt almost nothing.

What is my philosophy on pain and surgery?

I want my patients to love their plastic surgery results. However, I want them to enjoy their experience at the same time. It’s a great transformation and an exciting time for people. By planning the different steps that I described, I think we have come a long way to making that a reality. I address the individual needs of each patient and I make every effort to keep my patients as comfortable as possible.

If you are interested in a private consultation to discuss plastic surgery options, please contact Dr. Rodger Shortt to arrange an appointment at 905-849-4282 or info@drshortt.com.

Dr Rodger Shortt is a plastic surgeon servicing Toronto, Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, Milton, Hamilton and Georgetown. He strives to provide his patients the best care and excellent plastic surgery results. He is one of only a few plastic surgeons in Canada with a top rating on RateMD, RealSelf and Ontario Doctor Review. Dr Rodger Shortt is a specialist plastic surgeon trained in cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery. He specializes in breast surgery, breast augmentation, breast fat transfer, mommy makeover, tummy tuck, body contouring, breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgery of the face. He is the Director of Cosmetic Surgery Training at McMaster University and an Assistant Clinical Professor. If you are interested in a consultation with Dr Shortt please contact as at 905-849-4282 or visit www.drshortt.com.

Testimonials

I had a bump on my thumb removed by Dr Shortt a few years ago.

I had a bump on my thumb removed by Dr Shortt a few years ago. It was e third time I’d had it removed, as it kept growing back, but since Dr Shortt removed it, it hasn’t returned!

I’m very pleased with the results of my explant surgery.

Dr Shortt was recommended to me for my explant surgery. I was informed he was the best surgeon for the job and that I would be very happy with the results.
We met on a couple of occasions before the surgery and discussed the options of new implants, fat grafting or just an explant. He was courteous, respectful and very knowledgeable.
He respected my decision to just have the explant surgery and didn’t try to sell me on other procedures. He is all about what’s best for his patients. When I had my pre-op at the hospital, the intake nurse couldn’t say enough wonderful things about him and his skills. That solidified it for me.
I’m very pleased with the results of my explant surgery. It was a unique case in that the implants had completely liquified. They were done 8 years ago by another recommended surgeon in Burlington, not Dr Shortt himself. It seems they were just defective.
Dr. Shortt noted that he had never seen any implants come out in that condition. I appreciate that he is following up with the manufacturer to inform them of the situation.
if you are choosing implants, please do your research and educate yourself and if you choose to have them done, Dr. Shortt is your guy.

Dr. Shortt is a true professional, with an amazing bedside manner.

Recently I had Dr Shortt remove a large lump from the back of my leg. His genuinely friendly manner immediately put me at ease.
In the hospital, he explained how the procedure was going to work, which made me feel comfortable. The actual procedure took less than 5 minutes, with no pain. I was completely relaxed, knowing I was in good hands. Dr. Shortt is a true professional, with an amazing bedside manner. I’d trust him to do absolutely any surgical procedure and would feel confident that the outcome would be very successful.

Huge Breasts Be Gone!

Absolutely hands down the best! Dr Shortt is very skilled and has a warm, caring personality along with a sense of humour:) You are in the best hands should you choose Dr. Shortt. Thank you Dr Shortt and Joanne for making this a great experience!

He is a masterful surgeon and he has exceeded my expectations.

Dr. Shortt performed breast reduction/tummy tuck surgery and I am very happy with the results. He is a masterful surgeon and he has exceeded my expectations. I’m a 64 yr. old woman who has lived with shoulder and back pain for years. I decided to have a breast reduction in the hope of easing this discomfort and improving my quality of life in retirement. I was able to discuss questions and concerns easily with Dr. Shortt. He has a quiet, kind manner , complemented by a good sense of humour. I would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Shortt to my family and friends. The office staff are also very professional, friendly and helpful.

Breast Reconstruction at 55 and a New Lease on Life!!

I went to Dr. Shortt for breast reduction in 2015 and things went sideways when they found an early form of breast cancer (DCIS). It hadn’t shown up on the mammogram 6 months earlier. Dr. Rodger delivered the news, and was gentle and frank about my choices. I had been thrilled and pleasantly surprised with the breast reduction. I was equally happy about what followed after the cancer news; no chemo or radiation required: just a series of surgeries starting with a unilateral mastectomy, DIEP Flap surgery for breast reconstruction, nipple reconstruction and scar remediation, all ending with a nipple tattoo by one of his expert colleagues. I’ve never been so well cared for in my life. Dr. Shortt and his teams, both at the office and in the OR, formed a circle of care that kept me comfortable, confident and happy.
Dr. Shortt has fully embraced social media, which translates into access to tons of information through his blogs, links about procedures (i.e. DIEP flap surgery), and the ability to ask him questions remembered after appointments. He’s a straight shooter and a healer with a quick wit and a world of personal experience. I can’t recommend him enough!

Dr Shortt is talented, trustworthy, and kind.

Dr Shortt was has been incredible! I went to him in search of options for correctly my breast asymmetry. I read a lot of reviews for plastic surgeons in and around Toronto and I chose Dr Shortt because his reviews were overwhelmingly positive. Initially, I was interested in fat grafting because I feared an implant would be obvious. At my consultation, Dr Shortt explained the advantages and disadvantages of both options. His opinion was that an implant would actually be the better choice because breast augmentation with an implant is much more predictable and due to the difference in my breasts, I would probably need multiple sessions of fat grafting, which would get quite expensive. After the consultation, I understood why an implant would be the better choice for me and my body. He wrote a letter on my behalf advocating that my surgery be covered by OHIP, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, and they agreed to cover it! I really appreciated that Dr Shortt was honest about what he thought would make me the most happy (an implant in one side), not what would make him the most money (multiple sessions of fat grafting). Throughout the whole process, he was patient, understanding, and confident. His sense of humour put me at ease on surgery day and I couldn’t be happier with the results of my surgery. I didn’t want bigger breasts, just more symmetrical ones and he managed to balance me out beautifully without even touching my bigger left breast. My surgery was three weeks ago and except for the scar (which is healing beautifully) you can’t even tell I had surgery. My new breast looks and feels great and I can’t stop buying pretty new bras now that any bra will work for me. I can’t wait for bikini season! Dr Shortt is talented, trustworthy, and kind. As soon as you meet him, you’ll see that he truly cares about your happiness. Thank you, Dr Shortt!

Feel and look better than ever before.


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