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Controlling pain after day surgery

Will my child be in pain after the procedure?

There is usually some pain or discomfort in the first few days after an operation. How much pain your child is in, depends on the type of procedure they have had. The pain may not be too bad straight away, because of the medicines and anaesthetic used in theatre to stop your child from feeling pain. These medicines can work for some time after the procedure is finished.

How can I help my child?

After you go home, it is important to give your child regular pain relief medicine. This will help them to stay comfortable.


It is much easier to prevent pain than it is to relieve it once it has started

It is best to start giving medicine from bedtime on the day that your child has had their operation. This will help to stop your child from getting sore in the night as any local anaesthetic wears off.

Which medicines can I give my child?

It is recommended to use normal pain relief medicines after most procedures. Most children find that paracetamol, such as Calpol and Disprol, work well. Some children will also need ibuprofen, such as Calprofen and Nurofen for children.

If we think that your child might need stronger medicines, we will supply these at the hospital.

How much medicine can I give my child?

They might be allowed more medicine than it says on the bottle. The reason for this is, the way that we work out how much medicine someone can have. At the hospital we will work this out using your child’s weight, not their age.

Your child’s doses will be written down for you.

These doses must only be used for pain relief for the week after the procedure. After this week, you will need to follow the doses suggested on the bottle. Older children may prefer to take tablets

How often should I give them pain relief?

For the first 2 to 3 days after the procedure, your child should be given pain relief medicine 4 times a day.

After this, you can start to give pain relief only when your child needs it, but no more than 4 times a day.

Can medicines be given together?

Paracetamol and ibuprofen can be given at the same time as each other on a regular basis. If you are not sure that your child needs both medicines, you can try giving paracetamol 4 times a day, and then give ibuprofen in between doses if your child gets sore.

Are there any other ways to help?

Your child might be made more comfortable when they are kept warm, and have had some rest.

What if the pain is out of control?

If your child is in very bad pain and the medicine is not helping, please call your GP or doctor at the hospital. You should also get in touch with them if your child is being sick, and not keeping down the medicine.

Please get in touch if you have any further questions.



Date of birth: //

Weight: kg


Please note, there are 2 strengths of paracetamol medicine for different ages of children. Please make sure you have the right 1.

Dose of paracetamol:  mg (mls) 4 times a day.

Strength of paracetamol: (please tick only one)

The next dose of paracetamol can be taken after:


Dose of ibuprofen:  mg (mls) 4 times a day.

Strength of ibuprofen: (please tick only one)

The next dose of ibuprofen can be taken after:

You may find an oral medicine syringe helpful. These are available from the hospital or the chemist.



Date: //

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Theatre Admissions Unit on telephone: 0114 271 7343 or 0114 271 7393.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

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United Kingdom

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