To help you control your pain after surgery, your anaesthesiologist might have placed a "pain pump." The pump is attached to a tube called a catheter that is inserted by your anesthesiologist through your skin; the tip of this rests near the nerves to your arm. The pump is filled with numbing medication that runs through the catheter and bathes your nerves so that you will have less pain.
The pump will give you medication at a rate ordered by your anesthesiologist and will last approximately two days. You will have a small pouch you can wear to hold the pain pump. When the pump is empty, the catheter is removed and the pump is returned to the company in the envelope you received at discharge.
Safety Precautions: Be aware that the arm affected by the medication may be weak and/or partially numb. You may need assistance with movement while the medication is infusing. Do not drive while the pain pump is in place. Do not shower with the pain pump in place; sponge bathe instead.
Leakage: There might be leakage of fluid at the catheter site. Leakage might be blood-tinged; that is normal. Apply additional dressing over the original dressing as needed.
Pain: Most of your pain should be controlled with the pain pump infusion. Dr. Rohde will give you a prescription for oral pain medication to take at home; take this for pain that is not controlled by the pain pump.
Removing Your Catheter: Remove the dressings and tape. Hold the catheter close to the skin and pull gently. The catheter should come out easily. Place a Band-aid over the insertion site and return the pain pump as directed. You may remove the Band-aid the next day. If the catheter is hard to remove or if it starts to stretch, stop and call (248) 898-5000 as described below.
WHEN TO CALL: If you expreience any of the following symptoms, STOP the pump by closing the white clamp and call (248) 898-5000:
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, redness, warmth, or discharge from the catheter site, uncontrolled pain, hoarseness, confusion, dizziness or light-headedness, ringing or buzzing in your ears, or metallic taste in your mouth. INFORM THE OPERATOR THAT YOU HAVE A PAIN PUMP TO BE CONNECTED TO THE APPROPRIATE ANESTHESIOLOGIST AT (248) 898-5000.