Tips for Surgery with Fibromyalgia

Surgery in operating room.
1 / 12

If you have fibromyalgia and are facing a surgical procedure, you may have heard horror stories about post-operative flare-ups and long, painful recovery periods. While it’s true your recuperation period may take longer than that of the average person, there are steps that can be taken to reduce your pain levels and minimize your chances of a severe flare.

Woman giving paper to her doctor.

2 / 12

Fibromyalgia specialist’s guidelines

The following guidelines have been recommended by the Fibromyalgia Information Foundation, founded by Dr. Robert Bennett and Dr. Sharon Clark along with their colleagues at Oregon Health and Science University. You may want to print copies of the FIF guidelines (Guidance for Fibromyalgia Patients who are having Elective Surgery) to share with your surgeon and anesthesiologist.

Woman talking to doctor, using laptop.

3 / 12

Talk to your doctors

Discuss the fact that you have fibromyalgia with your surgeon and anesthesiologist about two weeks before you are scheduled for surgery. The American Society of Anesthesiologists recommends that all herbal medications be discontinued two to three weeks before an elective procedure.

Unhappy woman in hospital bed.

4 / 12

Understand pain amplification

Pain after surgery is inevitable because nearly all surgeries result in trauma to the skin and muscles. This post-surgical pain is usually accentuated in fibromyalgia patients due to their enhanced pain processing, also known as central sensitization (see “Understanding Pain and Pain Amplification”).

Doctor performing operation.

5 / 12

Request a soft neck collar

Request that you wear a soft neck collar to reduce neck hyperextension (if an endotracheal tube is anticipated). This will help minimize inadvertent stretching of your neck muscles during positioning while you are unconscious.


Related posts

Leave a Comment