Make Pain a Thing of the Past – Pain After Surgery – Physician Partners of America

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Interviewer: If we’re in pain and we get surgery, we expect that to fix the problem, right? Well, sometimes it doesn’t. Dr. Rudy Gari from Florida Pain Relief Group is here to help us figure out what to do next. Welcome back, Dr. Gari.

Dr. Gari: My pleasure.

Interviewer: How often do you have people come through your door and say I’ve had back surgery?

Dr. Gari: Everyday.

Interviewer: Everyday, and some people say they’ve had more than one?

Dr. Gari: I’ve had patients have one, two, three…I’ve had one patient that’s had five back operations.

Interviewer: And are they just at their wit’s end because it’s not helping?

Dr. Gari: Unfortunately. But we actually take a lot of pride in the fact that our specialty pain management, it’s the end of the road, but it’s a nice road to be in because there’s a lot of things that we can do for you. There’s a large majority of the back operations that do very, very well for patients, and the majority of patients do well from back surgery. But there is that select few that it doesn’t do well. And so for example the chances of a successful operation after the first back surgery is somewhere between 70% and 80 plus %.

Interviewer: You’re odds are pretty good.

Dr. Gari: Very good. Second one, maybe 40% to 50%. And the third one you’re dropping down to 15% to 20%.

Interviewer: So more surgery is not an option at this point.

Dr. Gari: It’s not an option because a lot of times by the time you’ve had three back operations, in the majority of situations you should be talking to a physician like myself that specializes in pain management because by that point, unfortunately your pain has pretty much become your illness. So we can find lots of ways to help you without another back operation.

Interviewer: What do you do when somebody comes to you and says I’ve had four operations? Do you get an X-ray to see what’s been done or how do you assess the damage?

Dr. Gari: The first thing I do is to listen very carefully, so we’re gonna get a thorough history. I want to know everything that’s happened. Why did you get the first back operation? Second, third, etc. Second thing I’m gonna do is I’m going to examine that patient. Find out where the pain is and where it’s coming from. A lot of times you can pick up a lot on the examination. For example, I had a patient just a couple of days ago who came in and said he had pain in his elbow. They told him he had tennis elbow. What he really had was a pinched nerve in his neck causing that. So you have to do an examination. I picked it up because he had weakness, loss of sensation, there’s a lot of things you can pick up in the examination. The third thing that I’m gonna do is maybe an X-ray, maybe an MRI, maybe a cat scan, different studies. I want to know exactly where you are after your operations. Once we’ve come across all that we’ll establish a diagnosis and establish a treatment plan, what to do. And over 90% does not involve another back operation.

Interviewer: Isn’t that great? And what percentage involves pills? There are different ways to treat it.

Dr. Gari: Well some patients are gonna need pills, and that could be an anti-inflammatory, it could be a muscle relaxer, it could be an opioid, it could be an anti-depressant, just different things. But we want to minimize your pills. Nerve blocks or sometimes things that are called [inaudible 00:03:09] re-stimulators, which are just little tiny electrodes that we can place in your back to actually take away that pain sensation in your back and your legs and replace it with a much more gentle and much more comfortable sensation.

Interviewer: So basically you give them their freedom back?

Dr. Gari: That’s what we try to do with every patient.

Interviewer: So instead of going for the operation first and foremost, go see Dr. Gari first to see if you even need it in the first place.

Dr. Gari: Absolutely. And we will gladly refer you to a neurosurgeon or a surgeon if we need that or if you want a second opinion.

Interviewer: Okay. Dr. Gari, thank you very much. You can visit their website, to schedule your same-day appointment. Give them a call at 844-KICK-PAIN. We’ll be right back with more Daytime so don’t go away.

When you are experiencing upper abdominal pain, it can definitely be frustrating to deal with. Part of that frustration is that you may not know right away what is causing the pain, which makes it more difficult to treat the pain and make it go away.

A medical professional can diagnose and treat your upper abdominal pain, but here are some of the possible causes:

Temporary Problems

Not all of the potential causes of upper abdominal pain are serious issues. Sometimes you might be dealing with something as simple as indigestion or gas. The pain in your upper abdomen could even be due to something like a pulled muscle or similar strain.

Keep an eye on when your symptoms begin, wherein your upper abdomen they are located and the specific sort of pain that you are experiencing. If it is a temporary issue like one of the ones listed above, you likely will be able to get better without much difficulty. Your medical professional can offer advice and medicine as needed if the pain continues.

Stomach or Esophagus Problems

Your upper abdominal pain could be caused by an issue in your stomach or esophagus. These issues could include:

  • Ulcers
  • Gastritis
  • Heartburn
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Some things to keep in mind before you talk to your medical professional are whether or not certain foods make your pain feel worse or if the pain is more intense when you are laying down.

Gallbladder or Liver Problems

Pain in your upper abdomen could also be attributed to an issue in your gallbladder or liver. These problems could include:

  • Liver abscess
  • Gallstones
  • Hepatitis
  • Ascending cholangitis

Again, it will be easier for your doctor to figure out the exact source of the pain if you provide the necessary information. Some issues could be caused by lifestyle, like cirrhosis of the liver due to prolonged alcohol use.

Other Upper Abdominal Problems

There are also a number of intestinal issues that could be the cause of your upper abdominal pain. It could be due to an infection or an inflammatory situation. Or it could be due to a problem like:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Kidney stones

There are also some serious diseases that have the potential to cause upper abdominal pain, like certain cancers. This is why you should always get medical help to make sure you find out the exact cause of your pain and the appropriate treatment.

Treating Your Upper Abdominal Pain

No matter what the cause, it is important to consult with a medical professional to get your official diagnosis and treatment plan. If your symptoms come on suddenly and are severe, you should get to the doctor right away. Those symptoms could include vomiting blood, inability to have bowel movements, difficulty breathing, bloody stools, a rigid abdomen or any other severe pain.
Pay attention to your body and talk to your doctor about the specifics of your abdominal pain. You will get a treatment plan that works and peace of mind.