Easing Pain After Surgery

January 31, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The pain of surgery can be the worst days, months or even years after the procedure.Harry Freedman is an avid cyclist. When the weather's bad outside? he brings his ride inside. But for a few years, pain forced Harry to stop peddling.

Freedman said, "It was debilitating. It was hard for me to work. It was hard for me to Sleep. You know, it's just hard to live."

A bulldozer ran over him at work, severing his leg. Harry lived in agony for a year.

Freedman said, "Let's say there's a storm and the telephone pole falls down and there's A live wire sparking on the road, that's what it feels like."

Georgetown University plastic surgeon Ivica (e-vitz-ah) Ducic (dew-chick) helped to ease his pain with a procedure he developed called peripheral nerve surgery.

Ivica Ducic, MD, and PhD. said, "I'm after the source of the pain."

Doctor Ducic removed the damaged part of the nerve and implanted it into the muscle, basically protecting the end of the nerve so it won't grow back and it won't cause any more pain.

Ducic said, "The cause is the painful terminal end of the nerve."

The procedure is for anyone who's had surgery and who's also experienced pain for at least six months and drugs have failed. After 17 surgeries and several different medications, peripheral nerve surgery was One of Harry's last options ? and it worked.

Harry Freedman added, "That pain that I had that was so terrible is gone."

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