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Abdomen Pain After Surgery - How To Resolve It In Children?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Rishavdeb Patra 89% (97 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCh - Paediatric Surgery
Pediatric Surgeon, Kolkata  •  25 years experience
Abdomen Pain After Surgery - How To Resolve It In Children?

Abdominal pain after surgery is common. It is only a part of the healing process. But extreme pain or prolonged pain is a sign of infection, surgical complications or some other underlying health condition. It is difficult to detect whether the pain is normal or abnormal when the person concerned is a child.

Symptoms:

A child complaining about abdominal pain after surgery should not be ignored no matter how common it may be; especially if the pain does not start reducing after 3 days from surgery. Children who are too young to verbally communicate the pain or feel discomfort show symptoms like:

  • Excessive crying.

  • Difficulty in sleeping.

  • Irritability.

  • Reduced activity.

  • Refusal to eat

After surgery, a child's behavior must be closely observed.

Causes:

A common cause of abdominal pain after surgery on children is fear of the surgery itself. Children might associate the fear with the pain psychologically which can prevent them from realizing that the physical pain has actually already started to reduce.

In this case, the child needs attention and maybe placebo medication, if all possible causes of physical pain have been ruled out.

The obvious causes of pain after surgery include:

  • Surgical complications like collection (i.e. bile or blood or pus) below the wound or inside.

  • Infection at the site of surgery.

  • Not getting the right dose of pain-killers.

Diagnosis:

Apart from the symptoms already discussed, the diagnosis of complications after surgery includes:

  • Fever.

  • Swelling at the site of surgery.

  • Abdominal distension after abdominal surgery.

It is best to contact the Surgeon who performed the surgery. Diagnosis might involve:

Effects:

Possible complications resulting in abdominal pain after surgery are:

  • Wound Dehiscence.

  • Wound infection.

  • Hematoma or collection which may be bile or pus.

Treatment:

Pain management involves pain killers in the right dose, according to their body weight. If the medication doesn't help, the Surgeon should be consulted.

Other treatment methods include:

  • Rest to ensure no further injury occurs and the wound gets time to heal.

  • Antibiotics for the infection.

  • The site of the surgery must be kept clean and dry to prevent further infection.

  • The recommended diet, if any, must be followed for quick healing.

Pain after surgery isn't difficult to manage, even in children, as long as a reliable doctor's instructions are followed well.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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