Day After Surgery - Constant Hiccups

I came home yesterday and so far everything is fine. I’ve kept my leg up. I’ve gotten up and moved around, stretched, and started taking my prescribed meds.

I was given a prescription for Oxycodone (5 mg) and Hydoxyzine (25 mg). Every 4 hours I am supposed to take 2 Oxycodone and 1 Hydoxyzine. I was also told to take Ibuprofin as needed to keep inflammation down.

Like I wrote earlier, I don’t like pain at all, but I don’t want to take any more than needed either. So, what I want to do is start out with the prescribed dose and gradually reduce it.

I’ve been keeping track of every pill I take, noting the amount and time of day. After every dose, I set a countdown timer on my phone for the next dose. This has worked out very well…even for those doses I take in the middle of the night.

The nerve block that the anesthesiologist put in from my knee down started to wear off at 6 am. I could wiggle my toes 21 hours after the nerve block. Even though I have feeling in my leg now, I still have no pain. I can feel the stitches whenever I get up and move about.

I have had one strange side effect since my surgery. I have had the hiccups for much of the time that I’ve been home. I don’t think it’s caused the prescription pills because the hiccups started before I took them. I can only attribute it to lingering effects of the general anesthesia or from the nerve block.

I’m usually pretty good at stopping hiccups. I drink water, or just focus on relaxing the diaphragm. But the hiccups I have now won’t go away easily. At least they stop when I fall asleep.

Back to the pills…Since I have no pain, I have begun to gradually lower my dosage. The first step has been to go from 2 Oxycodone every 4 hours, to 1 every 2 hours. Then I started spacing the time out to 2 hours 10 minutes, 2 hours 20 minutes, etc.  So far, so good.

It says to take the pills with food. I don’t eat every 2 hours, so I hope it’s not a problem to be taking the pills by themselves.

5 Responses to “Day After Surgery - Constant Hiccups”

  1. normofthenorth Says:

    Some surgeries for some patients are excruciating, and some are almost 100% painless, for reasons that I think are mostly mysterious. I had a heart valve replaced and another repaired 2 years ago, standard saw-through-the-sternum open-heart surgery. Around 24-36 hours after the surgery, I was virtually pain-free (as long as I didn’t cough or sneeze or move too fast!), and I stopped taking the narcotic pain-killers, just regular Tylenol.

    When one of my surgeons made the rounds and asked about pain, the nurses told them what I’d done. He said that was fine, and I didn’t have to take the Tylenol either if I didn’t need it. I stopped taking it except when I was having trouble sleeping, maybe one per night for a couple of nights.

    This wasn’t me being a hero, this was me pleasantly shocked that my super-invasive open-heart surgery left WAY less pain behind than my ATR repair had! I’ve no idea why. I’d bet that you got lucky, and can taper off the pills much faster than you’re doing — but if you start getting the feeling you’re falling behind, don’t be a hero. “Everybody” who has underlying pain that’s controlled by drugs seems to say that it helps to “stay ahead” of it.

    The one part of your treatment that seems questionable to me (no Doctor!) is the Ibuprofen, since there is some evidence that NSAIDs are bad for tendon healing and growth. Not fluoroquinolone bad or “work of the Devil” bad, but still negative, as I recall what I read a while ago. Most of us experienced significant inflammation when we started getting “vertical”, and controlled it largely with rest and elevation, though ice also helps a lot and some got great relief from compression (socks). “RICE”.

    And the hiccups? Just thank your lucky stars you didn’t have abdominal surgery! Some of those patients get uncontrollable hiccups, and it can be SERIOUS! I’m pretty confident guessing that nobody’s ever re-ruptured an AT by hiccupping. :-)

  2. kkirk Says:

    Sounds like your managing your pain very successfully, but my doctor advised me also to stay for the NSAIDs for awhile after surgery for the same reason (They are bad for AT healing). But I’m not a
    Doctor either. Keep us posted.

  3. Darryn Says:

    I’m also a medical doctor, but also read and told not to take NSAIDs after AT surgery.

  4. hurricane Says:

    @kkirk, I’m confused by your comment. Are NSAIDs good or bad for ATR?

  5. kkirk Says:

    Sorry for the lack of clarity, my doctor said they were bad for healing and not to take them. He insisted that I only take the loratab and that is it. He put my on an NSAID after 8 weeks out And I only take it when the pain gets bad (ie: when I walk around more than I should for the day).