ESSAY: Post-hysterectomy

Case Study 1

Rebecca, a 54-year-old woman, was discharged from the emergency department (ED) 3 days ago and is being seen in your office for a follow-up visit. Rebecca is 12 weeks post-hysterectomy and transported herself to the ED with complaints of abdominal pain and chills. Test results from the ED were negative for infection or postsurgical complications. Rebecca was given morphine in the hospital to manage her postsurgical pain and was given a 30-day prescription of Percocet at discharge. When this prescription is exhausted, she now attempts to manage the pain with over-the-counter painkillers (e.g., Tylenol, Advil), but they have been ineffective in managing her pain. The ED health-care provider refused to write another pain management prescription until she could be seen by her primary-care provider. Rebecca noted on today’s intake form that she has trouble sleeping and flu-like symptoms (e.g., muscle pain, bone pain, and chills).

Case Questions

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Assuming that tests performed in the ED ruled out any postsurgical complications or infection, what can be used to help manage pain?
Given the symptoms reported by Rebecca and the amount of time since her surgery, you suspect that Rebecca may be exhibiting signs of opioid withdrawal. What are the signs of opioid dependence and withdrawal?
Rebecca’s intake form reveals a number of the symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal. Do these symptoms indicate opioid abuse or dependence?
What has caused the current epidemic of opioid abuse, and what are the most popular drugs of abuse?
Why does the pain relief provided by opioids increase the risk of addiction, and what is your responsibility, as the health-care provider, when prescribing opioids?



Hysterectomy of any nature is, at times, necessary for the sake of the patient. However, post-hysterectomy can be a source of health complications, especially if the procedure is not done correctly. Follow-up is always necessary to mitigate such effects, as shown in the case of Rebecca.

What can be used to Manage the Pain

There are many ways to manage pain after a hysterectomy. If there no complications such as the case for Rebecca, the best approach is to undertake gentle exercises such as short walks and mild but consistent stretches. The second strategy is for the patient to keep comfortable. Since the body may be uncomfortable, the best way is to be as gentle as possible and treat every movement with caution (Lindquist et al., 2017). Over the counter drugs such as acetaminophen can as well be key at such a time.

Signs of Opioid Dependence and Withdrawal

Opioid addiction and withdrawal can be life-threatening since it can result in social-economic problems. Symptoms of opioid dependence and withdrawal include losing interest in undertaking activities that one initially had an interest in, opting to sleep at odd hours, engaging in funny eating habits such as too much, or at times doesn’t wish to eat at all.

Furthermore, some people develop erratic schedules. Some patients also experience symptoms like those of flu. Additionally, abdominal pain and nausea and anxiety are also associated with opioid withdrawal (Kosten & Baxter, 2019).

Whether Rebecca’s Symptoms Are for Opioid Abuse or Dependence

Rebecca’s symptoms are linked to opioid withdrawal other than addiction. The fact that she is experiencing abdominal pain and chills, as well as symptoms that can be connected to a flue, are all associated with opioid withdrawal.

Causes of The Current Epidemic of Opioid Abuse and Common Drugs of Abuse Opioid abuse has become a common practice. The reason for abuse is that they are addictive and activate reward centers such as the brain. A person ends up feeling good and develops the anxiety always to use the opioids…

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