Methadone And Surgery (Top voted first)

kanaffa Says:

I'm having surgery for knee replacement and this is the first time I've had surgery and general anaesthetic while on methadone. Can anyone advise me about the safety of this and how they will treat post-operative pain?

97 Replies (5 Pages)

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lisa Says:

I just had emergency gallbladder surgery.
I take 80 mg. Methadone a day...maintenance
I told the surgeon..the anesthesiologist..the nurse..!
Believe me..u don't want anyone giving u anything that's gonna throw u into withdrawal!
I was intubated and under general anesthesia twice n 2 days
I've been taking meth for 11 years
It scared the hell out of me..but all the nurses were very respectful
The surgeon allowed me to have a couple of drinks n my room nightly so I wouldn't have withdrawals and take my own carryouts of meth.
They gave me ativan and..morphine iv while n hosp. And sent me home on percocet..which I didn't take many of!!
That's not what my life is about now!
Methadone saved my life!

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Tammie Says:

Actually, it seems ridiculous in this day & age that one should have to suffer when they can make you comfortable. I don't mean "high" - I mean not in pain.

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Pat Says:

Hello. If you are on methadone maintenance for opiate addiction, you will need to tell the surgon so he/she knows how to treat your pain and your general sedation. Methadone won't help your post op pain, so he/she will have to prescribe another type of painkiller. One of the reasons it is important to tell your doctor is so he/she will know how much you are on, and then can decide the best course for your pain, If your doctor refusesto treat your pain, there is a letter you can get from a website called the doctors letter It was written by a doctor who is knowledgeable in methadone treatment and it states how methadone patients need medication just like anyone else. If I were you, I would discuss your concerns with your doctor before your surgery because if he/she states that you can't be treated just like any other patient, then you need to find a doctor who isn't closed minded, It is better to find out before being in pain than after, Here is the website for that letter, and let us know how everything went....Best of luck to you

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karla Says:

If you do not feel comfortable telling your doctor i get it. alot of them are VERY judgemental however you MUST tell the anthesologist. this is the person that truely has your life in their hands. I have had several surgeries while on methadone and I always make sure he/she knows. You usually meet with him/her privately before surgery so you can tell them then. after the surgery the doctor has always prescribed me the normal pain meds he would give anyone else and they take the edge off but honestly I have had better luck with Advil after surgery. Im on 113mg daily of methadone so im sure it helps with the pain after so there isnt a huge need for me personally for the pain meds. Anyway good luck and please make sure the right people know and dont be fearful its not that bad telling them I promise!! p.s. I have always taken my meth that morning as usual. Also another reason they need to know some of the post op drugs they give interact with methadone in the way that you can go into immediate withdraw like stadol for example. Not everyone does but you do not want ot take that chance after surgery. Again good luck!!

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josaphene Says:

im not sue about the post surgery pain but i had an operation last august i was getting extremely bad headaches and the specialists found a tumour on and behind my right eye. i was on 80mls of methadone and had a general anasthetic i was very worried but my wonderful surgen assured me everything would be fine and so did the anesthatist. it all went well and im still coming off the methadone each week bit by bit day by day. good luck for your surgery.

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mike r Says:

This is incredibly dangerous if your surgeon doesn't know about an opiate dependency and its possible that you will have serious complications or even death or at bare minimum extreme pain

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kathy Says:

Did you end up getting your surgery?how did it go?I'm going to have plastic surgery and I'm on 30 ml of methadone and haven't told my doc..I don't want scared as you were..and don't want to be judged or even cancelled..

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Jennifer Says:

Kathy, you must tell your doctor. I doubt you'll be judged. If you are then you need to find a new doctor. Hold your head up high, tell him that you were afraid of being judged but that you realized that he needed to know because your health is important to you. Having surgery without telling your doctor and anesthesiologist could have deadly consequences. If you're lucky enough to survive you could end up being under medicated when they attempt general anesthesia.

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Jennifer Says:

Hey Karen. Here are the documents for you to print for your doctor. They are both from medical journals so he will probably appreciate that. One article is about using anesthesia during surgery on methadone maintenance patients and the other is about pain control after surgery for methadone maintenance patients. Both links will send you to a page that downloads the documents as pdf files so you'll just need to print them after they download. If the links don't work or you just want to talk you can email me:

{edited for privacy}

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tra2594 Says:

i am reading your post and i feel the same way, i dont want my surgeon to know about my personal business etc, especially since i am in the field and know the same people. Lets face it, you will be treated different once they know you are on the prg. period. How did this work out for you?

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Laura Says:

I have had two surgerys while on methadone, you will be fine they gave me percocet for pain and it took the edge off which is what it should do, alot of people think they should be pain free after a surgrey while taking pain pills but that is not the case hope all goes well

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Annie1245 Says:

I'm on 90mg of methadone daily for over 5 years. I told all my doctors before my laparoscopic umbilical surgery repair. I woke up in the worse pain if my life! If I had a choice I would have died that day! My pain was that bad. They gave me 2mg of dilauid and I think 50 mcg of fentanyl and was determined to send me home 2-3 hours after surgery. I hurt so bad I couldn't cry because the pain in my stomach. I did wake up with seven abdominal incisions. I usually tolerate pain fairly well and though I never had surgery before, I have had 3 babies almost naturally & even 3rd degree burns. But this pain was so unbearable! I didn't want to feel high as I felt my nurse was thinking and didn't even take any of my pain meds I was sent home with. I just wanted relief like a block or something. Why did I hurt do bad? Why wouldn't they help or believe me?

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JMitch Says:

The same thing happened to me when I had a csection. I was on 80mg of methadone and it was horrible. The doctors acted like I was trying to get extra drugs. I was begging them to put the epidural back in. It was the most pain I've ever been in. I honestly think the problem is that the doctors are too scared to prescribe the high amount of narcotics that would actually relieve our pain. My OB wouldn't even prescribe medication to take home. I had to see the psychiatrist at my clinic. I hope you're feeling better!

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Jennifer Says:

No problem. I know it's scary to tell people you're on methadone and worry about being judged but it's just something we've got to do. It's better to be on methadone than the alternative. I'll look for the paper for you to print out. It might be later today though. Oh, and I doubt they'll cancel your surgery. Methadone is used for pain management and I'm sure they see more people than you think on some kind of narcotic.

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kathy Says:

Thanks again I'm so glad I found this website and glad you are non judgemental..

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Jennifer Says:

There won't be a problem at all. Just make sure your doctor and the anesthesiologist know. They may have to adjust some of the meds a bit. Plus, since you're on a lower dose it won't be a huge deal. They still need to know because it could still have a slight blocking effect on some medications. Good luck and let me know if you have anymore questions.

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Jennifer Says:

Hey Kathy. I'm not sure if you're reading this thread anymore but I was
wondering how your surgery went. I hope everything went well!

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coolmommaducky Says:

Years ago ( while on methadone) I had foot surgery, I was embarased to tell them I was on the clinic so I told them I had to take more percocets than I was supposed to. I WOKE UP while they where setting a bone and kicked, luckily everything ended ok, I realize how lucky I was now. I would NEVER not tell AT LEAST the anesthesiologist no matter how much you take or don't take that day, your body will metabolize the medicine different.
Anyone else in Tennessee on methadone for pain management having issues with a law change??

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Hamed Rob Says:

I'm having a gallblader surgery in 2 days and I'm hospitalised for scanning now. I'm on 55 ml methadone and I haven't told anyone yet. I was even planning to risk my life and go under without them even knowing about the methadone. I worried if they knew they'd tell me not to take any methadone for a few days before the surgery any I would rather die without my methadone. Your post however gave me a courage to stand up to the fact and let them know. Many many thanks brother. Plz let me know if your have any further advice. {edited for privacy}.

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twnki Says:

getting a plate and screws in foot in a few weeks here, on 95mg methadone but only drink two to three times a week. dont want dr. doing surgey to know for personal reasons nor my primary dr.Days before i wont be drinking any at all.I will be under for aprox. 30-45 mins. Is this gona be safe? I have a very high tolerence to opaites

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