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Opting for Surgery as a Fibromyalgia Patient: 5 Tips to Stay Safe




Man with back pain due to fibromyalgia

Anyone who is suffering from fibromyalgia will naturally be skeptical about going under the knife, given that there are definitely possibilities of post-surgical complications owing to the condition. Unfortunately, it is impossible at times to avoid surgery, whether you have fibromyalgia or not. Don’t worry though, because we have five tips for you here that will make sure that you come out of surgery without any fibromyalgia-related complications.

Early Sedation

Central sensitization is a big problem for patients with fibromyalgia going for surgery, but the effects can be minimized by simply asking your doctor to administer the pre-operative painkillers (possibly strong opioids) about one and a half hours before surgery. To further boost your preventive measures against central sensitization, administering of intravenous magnesium sulfate might work wonders as well.

Succinylcholine is a Bad Idea

If you want to avoid postoperative pain amplification, you will need to stay away from the muscle relaxant known as succinylcholine, which is commonly used in surgeries by the anesthesiologist. This drug and fibromyalgia just don’t go together, so talk with your anesthesiologist to work around the drug.

Endotracheal Tubes and Neck Hyperextension

If the surgery involves using an endotracheal tube, there’s a chance that you will suffer from the effects of neck overextension after the surgery. Talk with your medical team about the problem and request that they take all the precautions necessary to stop that from ever happening. A soft neck collar is an effective way to prevent hyperextension of the neck.

Local Anesthesia Might be Necessary

This is something only a doctor with experience regarding fibromyalgia will understand; full anesthesia alone might not be enough to counter the post-surgical pain symptoms of fibromyalgia. This is why local anesthesia is often a better option than going under a general anesthetic. Even if it cannot be helped, consult with your anesthesiologist and tell him/her to give you a local anesthetic at the site of the surgery too because that would actively prevent central sensitization.

Ask for a PCA Pump

PCA stands for Patient Controlled Analgesia and it’s given to patients who are suffering from extreme pain or have the potential to. It simply allows the patient to administer some additional pain-relieving opioids or other drugs, directly to himself/herself at fixed intervals and in limited amounts. Aside from giving you at least some control over any post-op fibromyalgia-related pain, PCA pumps also provide the patient with a bit of mental confidence and a sense of control over the pain.

These tips will definitely help but not everyone is aware of them and not all surgeons understand fibromyalgia as well as they should. To change the situation for fibromyalgia patients in the surgical field, consider becoming a surgical tech yourself. Check out the best options available to you for becoming a surgical tech on

Remember, only a surgeon with fibromyalgia can truly make things safer for patients that are suffering from fibromyalgia, but will have to go under the knife all the same.

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