Gender Differences in Pain After Surgery

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Dr. Dirk and Northstar offer an innovative combination of medication during and after surgery to keep post-procedure pain to a minimum. But a new study shows that a patient’s gender might need to be taken into account when it comes to post-op pain treatment.

Many women have a high tolerance for pain, but the study reveals that men may actually feel more pain than women after surgery and other major medical procedures.

Researchers in Austria studied more than 10,000 people over the course of four years and found that men experience more pain after major surgery, while women felt more pain following minor procedures such as biopsies.

Patients involved in the study were interviewed 24 hours after surgery and asked questions about their operation, anesthesia and pain level. Answers to the patient surveys revealed that men were 27 percent more likely to experience moderate pain after major surgery while women were 34 percent more likely to experience moderate pain after a minor procedure.

Perhaps it has something to do with a woman’s genetic disposition to handle pain in childbirth, but the jury is still out on the exact reason behind the findings.

“The gender differences on pain perception are still heavily disputed, both in experimental and clinical fields. Our data do not definitely clarify this issue; however, based on our findings it can be presumed that the type (and severity) of surgery may play a pivotal role,” write the study’s authors.

If you’re worried about pain during your recovery from bariatric surgery, let us provide some reassurance. Dr. Dirk uses the new and highly publicized Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS), in which the operation is performed through one small incision on the patient’s belly. This option not only provides minimal scarring for patients, but can also shorten the recovery time for a patient following weight-loss surgery.

Fear of pain following bariatric surgery shouldn’t keep you from achieving your weight-loss goals. Our staff will take the time to educate you on how to manage your pain following surgery to ensure minimal discomfort.