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"Can surgeries still affect you later in life?"

ZocdocAnswersCan surgeries still affect you later in life?


If you have surgery to fix something, can it still cause pain and stuff when you get older? Like where they performed the surgery and the scar?


Having a surgery always involves damaging tissue at the original incision. Surgeries involve very controlled cuts that are designed to damage the least amount of tissue possible. The wounds are then put back together in a controlled way to maximize the healing capability of the tissue. Therefore most of the time, there is little pain, and usually only a small scar where a surgery took placed. After the tissue heals, pain from that surgery should go away. However, sometimes nerves in the area of the incision get damaged. When this happens they sometimes begin sending signals to the brain that there is pain in the area long after the injury from the surgery has healed. We call this neuropathic pain. Surgeries that involve the rib cage are sometimes complicated by neuropathic pain in the area of the old incision years after the surgery has healed. If you are having pain around the area of an old surgery, then I suggest that you schedule an appointment to see the surgeon that performed the surgery. He or she can take a look at the old scar to see if anything is wrong. If nerve damage is a possibility then you may need to try a medication to help relieve that pain.

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