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Cannot stop itching after surgery....any advice?

Cannot stop itching after surgery....any advice?

Postby momma2010 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:51 am

My surgery was yesterday at 11:30am, took 3 1/2 hours. Was in recovery for less than two hours. All I get is vicodin so quite painful yesterday but doing a little better once I began taking two vicodin every 4 hours. Getting in and out of the recliner is quite a challenge! I have a follow up appointment this afternoon, dr. is an hour away. So far the major pain hasn't been the MR or hernia repair, but either the incision or drains, not sure which but down low and it burns when I move even the littlest bit. My main concern right now is something I haven't read on here yet. Ever since I woke up from surgery I can't stop itching from head to toe. Very constant and miserable. I will ask my dr. today of course when I see him but has anyone else experienced this? I have not slept once since I was discharged, couldn't sleep at all last night, mainly because of the itching.

Another question....I was thinking that while under anesthesia, they would just put a breathing tube down my throat like they did for my hernia surgery last year but the anesthesiologist told me they actually have to stop the breathing and put me on a ventilator. I guess this is standard procedure with all tummy tucks?
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Re: Cannot stop itching after surgery....any advice?

Postby coffeebreak » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:01 am

first of all a huge congrats on your surgery!!!!! what a great milestone and you made it =D> as for the itching i had the exact same problem i scratched to the point i bled, this is from the meds, 4 days post op i found out i was allergic to the pain meds therefore ive been off the meds since then healing without anything pain wise, as for stopping breathing during surgery i had no idea they did this, that kinda took me aback when i red that, is that standard procedure for every TT or was it just in your situation? please keep us posted as you recover, its a long haul but so so very worth it :D
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Re: Cannot stop itching after surgery....any advice?

Postby Hopefloats » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:07 am

Check with your PS to see if he will allow you to use Benadryl. I asked after suffering from the "itchies" as well, and he gave me the clearance. It made ALL the difference. I was only on Percocet for 3 days, and once i was off, the itching stopped, but it sure made life bearable through those initial days!
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Re: Cannot stop itching after surgery....any advice?

Postby momma2010 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:25 am

Not sure if the ventilator is standard with all tummy tucks or not, I was hoping someone on here would know.

I am relieved to know others have itched too. I have taken vicodin in the past and never itched before. I started itching before my first dose of vicodin so it must be from the IV meds? So would it stop the itching to even stop taking vicodin?
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Re: Cannot stop itching after surgery....any advice?

Postby mks5280 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:56 am

Same thing happen to me last week with my surgery. It was so bad that they needed to give me an iv of something to take the pain med out of my system. But they sent me home with the same pill format of that med and just told me to take benadryl with it. That worked.
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Re: Cannot stop itching after surgery....any advice?

Postby lucky.b » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:15 am

Quite a few narcotics are well known for giving some people the itchies. They release some type of histamine and cause the can't.stop.itching feeling that is really different than other types of itchies. For me, the end of my nose gets really itchy and I just rub and rub and rub and it never stops itching. Benadryl is a pretty standard "antidote" for it, although it may just take the edge off and not completely get rid of it. This is *not* considered being allergic to the narcotic, BTW, as it is considered a side effect. If you develop hives, tightness in your chest or shortness of breath, stop breathing altogether, these are allergic reactions (among others). One narcotic that does this to you doesn't mean that another will, so the doc will probably suggest using Benadryl first and if that doesn't work, will then switch you to something else.

Anytime you are under general anesthesia, you are given paralytic medications. These meds paralyze your respiratory muscles as well, and that is why you are intubated and placed on a ventilator to breathe for you. Some people are not so far under that they cannot breathe over the machine at times - meaning the vent breathes the amount of times per minute that it has been set to, but you also breathe more times than that, but usually the ventilator does all the work. This is one reason that deep breathing after general anesthesia is *so* important, especially with longer procedures like TTs. A ventilator just doesn't inflate the lungs to their fullest capacity and it is very important that you then do so, to prevent pneumonia or some of the smaller alveoli collapsing and just not helping you get enough oxygen exchange going.
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Re: Cannot stop itching after surgery....any advice?

Postby HopefulMomma » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:37 am

lucky.b wrote:Quite a few narcotics are well known for giving some people the itchies. They release some type of histamine and cause the can't.stop.itching feeling that is really different than other types of itchies. For me, the end of my nose gets really itchy and I just rub and rub and rub and it never stops itching. Benadryl is a pretty standard "antidote" for it, although it may just take the edge off and not completely get rid of it. This is *not* considered being allergic to the narcotic, BTW, as it is considered a side effect. If you develop hives, tightness in your chest or shortness of breath, stop breathing altogether, these are allergic reactions (among others). One narcotic that does this to you doesn't mean that another will, so the doc will probably suggest using Benadryl first and if that doesn't work, will then switch you to something else.

Anytime you are under general anesthesia, you are given paralytic medications. These meds paralyze your respiratory muscles as well, and that is why you are intubated and placed on a ventilator to breathe for you. Some people are not so far under that they cannot breathe over the machine at times - meaning the vent breathes the amount of times per minute that it has been set to, but you also breathe more times than that, but usually the ventilator does all the work. This is one reason that deep breathing after general anesthesia is *so* important, especially with longer procedures like TTs. A ventilator just doesn't inflate the lungs to their fullest capacity and it is very important that you then do so, to prevent pneumonia or some of the smaller alveoli collapsing and just not helping you get enough oxygen exchange going.



Ditto Lucky!! Exactly what I would've written. Ask your PS to switch you to another pain med, you might not get the same reaction to it.
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Re: Cannot stop itching after surgery....any advice?

Postby itsmommytime » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:44 pm

Congrats on your sx . Cant wait to see your progress
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Re: Cannot stop itching after surgery....any advice?

Postby coffeebreak » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:49 pm

i agree that itching is a normal reaction to narcotics however as i was stating in my case (maybe i should have been more clear...my apologies) it was an allergic reaction, i was covered in hives hives and more hives i was also told to take benadryl which definatly helped control some of the itching while the hives were healing ( just thought i should clear that up so allergic reactions are not confused with normal side effects)
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