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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:04 am 
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Hi, all! I just wanted to post my surgery story from yesterday. I had lurked around on this forum for answers and encouragement for several weeks prior to it and am thankful. I hope my story helps someone.

My husband and I both are on suboxone. He's 8mg a day (2mg, 4x per day) and I am down to 2mg a day (1/3 of 1/4 of an 8mg strip, 3x per day). We got the news on August 22nd that I needed exploratory laparoscopy with a possible cystectomy (basically, exploratory "female" pelvic-area surgery and possible cyst removal from my left ovary). The surgery was scheduled for Sept 4th. That gave me 13 days to figure out what to do in order to help with post-op pain management. I am beyond done with opiates, am committed to the miracle that is Suboxone, but also realistic about the need for reasonable post-op paint management. Enter: Suboxforum.com

For those who are lurking, attempting to figure out what to do on your own without a physician/surgeon/suboxone provider's input, it must be realized that there are so many varying factors person-to-person, dose-to-dose, case-to-case, surgery-to-surgery---a medical professional is the best, albeit not always willing, resource for planning pre-during-post surgery pain management. However, this forum's members offer the unquestionable benefit of raw personal experience--a tool that most health providers DO NOT have in their arsenal.

So, after finding out that I would be having surgery in 13 days, I decided to wean down as low as possible prior to the surgery. I weaned down to 1mg a day, taking 0.50mg in AM and PM. I took my last 0.50mg Sub dose the evening of day 11 prior to surgery. The day before the surgery, I took no Sub dose. I did take 1000mg Acetaminophen/Tylenol every 6hrs and it DID work some to take the edge off of my chronic joint pain. I had some irritability, some periodic sweating, a slight headache and mild trouble staying focused, but I managed. The day of surgery, I took no Sub dose. No symptoms other than general anxiety about the surgery.

I did NOT discuss post-op pain management with any of my physicians prior to the surgery. When the anesthesiologist came in prior to the surgery, I asked specifically what anesthetic would be used, what pain medicine and anti-emetic (anti-nausea) medicine would be used during and what pain medicine would be prescribed afterward. Propofol anesthetic, fentanyl for pain, zofran for nausea during surgery. After surgery, Percocet 5mg (the script was for 15 total, 1 every 4-6 hours as needed). The surgery was uneventful. I had 3 incision sites (where the tubes went in), one of which was my belly button. I woke up in NO pain--I went home in very mild pain. The RN gave me one percocet before leaving and I AM taking the percocets as prescribed, along with 600mg ibuprofen every 6 hours as prescribed. This morning, I am in mild pain, but it's mainly just general achy-ness and my body's awareness that it went through surgery. No other weird effects from not taking Sub, although I'm not sure that I would feel any anyway at the present time.

So, this is where I am currently. I DO plan to return to my Sub dose after the pain med is gone. I am not quite ready to jump off, yet. I will update this post in about a week to offer my experience with that.

Thanks to all the posters brave enough to share--I appreciate so much this forum being available.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:04 pm 
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Thank you for posting your experience with surgery while on suboxone!

Just out of curiosity, do you feel like the percocet was strong enough to deal with your pain? I'm curious how such a low dose was able to break through the sub in your system. Was your doctor aware that you are in sub treatment?

Thanks in advance for your response. I'm sure your comments will help someone else in your situation!

Q

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:44 pm 
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Actually, I have had to take 10mg of it about every 5hrs and just took my last dose about 2hrs ago. I did call my doctor's office for a half refill in order to taper down this afternoon and wean back to tylenol/ibuprofen only tomorrow. Unbelievably (or, perhaps believably), the doctor "doesn't feel comfortable" writing me another 5 pills to help wean down, so my next med dosage will be 2 arthritis strength tylenol and 600mg of ibuprofen. Then, when I begin to feel the effects of no pain med in my system, I intend to take my first dose of Sub 0.50mg. Should be within the next 3-4hrs. In answer to whether the percs were sufficient for pain--the 10mg was, 5mg no.

To be continued...


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:47 pm 
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And, no. My surgeon was not aware I was on Suboxone. I don't know how the percocet was able to break through, unless it was just by weaning my Sub dose down so low and then stopping entirely 36hrs prior to surgery. I suspect the experience would be different for someone weaning down to 2mg or higher from a higher Sub dose. Just my opinion, though.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:44 am 
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So, 8hrs after my last percocet 10mg dose, I took my first 0.50mg Sub dose. No ill effects and combined with 600mg ibuprofen, no pain. I should be back up to 2mg Sub by tomorrow. Sooooo glad.

When I took my first perc dose, I felt strong nausea. Probably because of the med itself, but also because I was willingly putting it back into my body. Despite this feeling, I wanted to so that I would feel pain relief from the surgery and also to be able to feel abnormal pain that may have presented post-op. I do not regret my choice. My husband and I had discussed the process before, during and after and never deviated from "the plan". I pray that everyone may find a source of loving support and encouragement to keep them moving in the right direction. It's difficult to stay committed for some--surgery makes one that much more vulnerable. My husband's steady way has been priceless.

Thanks again to all posters whose stories helped me in my journey. Hope the best for all!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:24 pm 
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It's so sweet of your husband to be your rock through tough times. It's always easier to go through a trial with someone rather than alone. Not all are as lucky as you, which I'm sure you know. Tell your husband "great job!" from us! Thank you for sharing your story!

Amy

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