Opana ER Surgery

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by munch1958, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. munch1958

    munch1958 Member

    I'd just like to write about my experience so this doesn't happen to anyone else. I had kyphoplasty at the #1 hospital for back and spine surgery (Rush University Med Center) in Illinois yesterday.

    Kyphoplasty is a procedure where they poke a hole in your fractured vertebrae with a rod containing a balloon on the end. They blow up the balloon and create a cavity in your vertebrae. Then they pump the cavity full of bone cement. In essence, they glue you back together.

    I have 6 spinal compression fractures due to osteoporosis caused by pituitary insufficiency which is probably a result of a untreated Lyme infection. My LLMD is the one who identified adult growth hormone deficiency and prescribed growth hormone for me.

    For many years, I was treated with all sorts of ADs but nothing helped. I couldn't understand what the fuss was about ADs since they didn't do anything for me. Once I got on HGH all of the emotional symptoms (depression, crying jags, insomnia, racing thoughts, etc.) went away. But my osteoporois will take about 6 years to reverse with the HGH. So now I'm also on 20 mcg of Forteo too. Forteo is a shot of parathyroid hormone which builds bone.

    For pain, my internal med doc has me on 40 mg of Opana ER 3X per day with Vicodin for BTP. Opana is a newer med -- it's supposed to be a revved up version of Oxycontin -- or a lot stronger.

    The two meds (Opana ER and Oxycontin) are not related to each other chemically in any way. Opana is slow release oxymorphone and Oxycontin is slow release oxycodone. Comparing it to Oxycontin is just how my doc described it to me saying it's for those who have trouble with Oxycontin. I get severe chest pain from Oxycontin.

    In the recovery room, they kept giving me Fentynal which didn't do anything for me. Because of severe pain, I kept thrashing about and kicking the covers off and crying while I was still under the anesthesia.

    I told them they'd have to go up to Dilaudid because Fentynal didn't do much for me when used during the past 13 surgeries that I've had. I'm allergic to sulfa which is chemically close to morphine, HCTZ (diuretics) and OxyContin. I've had allergic reactions to all of these meds in the past.

    The recovery room nurses were very patient and kind. They did get the doc to order Dilaudid. After the second dose, just when I got comfortable for about 1/2 hour the surgeon came to see me.

    At that point I was fairly calm but was sitting on a bedpan. URGH! I couldn't think of anything that I wanted to say while on a bedpan let alone USE the bedpan. I meant to complain about the pain but wanted to know about the problems that happened during surgery.

    I was scheduled as first case at 7:30 AM, the surgery was delayed until 11 AM. I had an allergic reaction when the anesthesia was administered. Then another reaction to the Betadine they used to sterilize my back.

    I'm sensitive to sulfa and sulfites both. Some of the meds they used have sulfites in them as a preservative. They didn't think to check them all for sulfites before they injected the meds. Or thought it's only a small amount so it won't matter. Or maybe they thought the benefits of the meds outweighed the drawbacks. DUH!

    My Epi-pens also have the very same sulfite I'm most allergic to inside. Another one of the many Catch-22's of this illness. Knowingly having to inject myself with something that I'm allergic to to prevent death that might be caused because I'm allergic to something else?

    Then the X-Ray machine they use in this OR was broken. They didn't wheel me into the recovery room until nearly 2 pm. This means I was under anesthesia for a lot longer than they intended. My throat is way and my voice is shot.

    The post surgical pain management was very poor. Once I had been given 2 doses of Dilaudid I was told I couldn't have any more. I was sent up to my room around 4 PM. My surgeon told me I could go home that same day if I wished but he preferred that I stay over night because they wanted to do labs and a CT scan. There was no medical reason to keep me overnight.

    The recovery room nurses called the nurse assigned to my hospital room to let them know about the pain management situation. The nurse thought he could get a PCA pump brought up with Dilaudid in it. If they had done this I would have spent the night and been comfortable for the first time since Feb 22 when the fractures happened.

    Unfortunately, all the doctor had ordered was 5 mg Norco so that's all the nurse could give me. My nurse was apologizing left and right. He even called my surgeon to tell them what a poor job they were doing with pain management on my case.

    No Opana ER could be given to me because it's not on the hospital's formulary meaning that in order for them to stock it they'd have to drop another med. Since not very many people are on Opana they don't want to do this.

    I'm also on Soma which is a muscle relaxer. The hospital didn't have this available either!

    One of the docs even told me that if I were to return to this hospital for any procedures that I should bring the Opana ER with me. I opted to leave the hospital because I have better pain meds at home.

    Today I have very severe pain. I've sent an email to my primary but I know he's not in on Fridays. I may have to go see the doc-in-the-box for a shot of Toradol.

    Mostly, I'd like to let others know about my story especially if taking Opana ER. If having surgery check with the hospital to see what pain meds they have available before hand.
  2. redhummingbird

    redhummingbird New Member


    You were on my mind all day yesterday. I was wondering how you were doing.

    I was shocked to see you posting today!

    It sounds like a nightmare.

    If you can go to the doc-in-the-box to get that pain under control.

    It's outrageous how this was all handled. I'd never heard of Opana ER. I can't believe the doctor ordered only 5mg of Norco!!!

    You're in my thoughts. We'll talk soon!
  3. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    I'm glad to hear your surgery is over and you made it through okay. I am sorry to hear that you went through what you did in order to get pain relief.
    I greatly appreciate the warning to others!

    I remember my doctor telling me, in the hospital they do whatever they can to keep you out of pain. The nurses are in your room every 30 min with that pain chart with the smiley faces etc. The problem with pain control is usually when you get home. It sounds like you weren't even getting the adequate pain control while there?

    Were they aware of your situation before surgery? did the Dr. know what you were taking or your history of chronic pain? 5 mgs of Norco? My gosh, everyone I know who is "normal" has been given stronger pain meds than that in the hospital!

    The hospital didn't have Soma??? Where are you? out in the boonies?

    Just out of curiousity - did you have to list when you were taking before surgery? did THEY recommend you bring your own, giving some indication that they would not be able to provide you that same kind of relief? IF not, they certainly should have!

    You gave quite valuable information. Thank you for that. I wish you an uncomplicated and quick recovery - with the least amount of pain possible.

    One last question if you don't mind. did you eventually have to go up to Opana because you grew tolerant to the less strong pain meds? I know you said you couldn't take Oxycontin but just wondered the route you'd taken to lead you to the Opana?
    Thank you - don't answer now - take you time to recover!!

  4. tig519

    tig519 Member

    In general, make sure that you review all meds pre surgery. For recent gallbladder surgery, the doctor did want me to stay 23hrs (O/N), even though typical stay was 6hrs. I asked about the drugs I was on, and they actually suggested I bring them with me. I did, but someone didn't put that fact in the chart. So they tried giving me substitutes. When I told them I had them with me, they said they needed the doctor to approve first. Can you believe that? I took them and 4 hrs later they gave me permission to.
  5. munch1958

    munch1958 Member

    I never got satisfactory pain relief while in the hospital.
    They can stick those smiley faces they've got all over the place where the sun don't shine.

    If the docs think you've had an "adequate dose" of something there isn't any more meds for you. Someone along the way decided that I'd had enough Dilaudid on top fo the Fentynal.

    Now it's 3 days later. I've got some sort of hard lump near the incision with a bruise that extends from my spine to my hip. It's like 7" long.

    I'm not sure if it's infected either. I'm having a hard time inhaling because of this tender area. Every time I inhale the pain shoots thru my ribs. The fix was at T10.

    I sent my primary an email a few days before the surgery asking for my normal refills. I mentioned the probability of having surgical pain over and above the normal pain and mentioned I'd probably need stronger meds. His reply was that the surgeon is supposed to take care of this.

    Since I was topped out on the Opana ER and allergic to morphine there isn't much he could think of to do for me during my last office visit in Sept. My primary was thinking they'd get the pain under control but they didn't.

    I have a 2 page typed list of my meds and a 7 page medical history. Most of the docs don't bother reading it. Both the doc and the hospital have a copy of the list. My nurse said that he had not heard of 30% of my meds and he'd been a nurse for 19 years.

    Yes, one 5 mg of Norco was the biggest joke I've ever seen. This was supposed to be every 4 hours. After Opana ER, Fentynal and Dilaudid .... it was like getting a baby aspirin.

    I was at Rush University Med Center which is a major teaching hospital in Chicago. I waited all summer for this surgery because the neurosurgeon is top notch. I was worried about having more neuro symptoms because of my underlying Lyme infection so I wanted the best I could find.

    I knew my two injectable pens would be a problem for the hospital pharmacy to obtain. I'm on Forteo (parathyroid hormone) and HGH (growth hormone) so I brought those with me.

    I ended up on Opana ER because Oxycontin gives me chest or belly pain. The prescribing info leaflet says a rare side effect can be spasms of the spincter of Oddi.

    That little triangle area around the sternum is loaded with heart, aorta, GI and a bunch of other organs. It's nearly impossible for docs to diagnoses pain coming from that area.

    Thanks for your well wishes on the pain. If I don't get any relief soon I may head over to the ER. I'm just dreading that because they can be such jerks.

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