It is hard to classify the most painful medical procedure or surgery, as each person is different from the other, and may react really differently to the same kind of situation. So it is quite probable that we find an experience may seem very painful when others might think it isn’t that bad.
That’s why we had to do a little research to make up a list with many of the most painful medical procedures, what are they carried out for, and some comments from people who experienced them.
With this criteria, we will make a list including many of the most painful medical procedures, and separately, the most painful surgeries.
We are talking about medical procedures which are common, as, of course, there are others painful procedures too, although it is unlikely for all of us to go through them because they are very specific cases.
We will mention those that we will have to go through, sooner or later, if we haven’t yet. So let’s start first with a list with many of this painful procedures (they are not being listed in any type of scale or ranking) and their pain causes.
Top 5 most painful medical procedures
A colonoscopy is an exam which is performed to prevent colon cancer, or the cause for some gastrointestinal issues, like pain, bleeding, chronic constipation or diarrhea.
In this medical exam, an endoscope is introduced, camera-equipped, through the rectum and threaded to the colon, so the doctor (and also the patient if he or she wants to) can see the inside and search for any anomaly in your colon or rectum.
Before all this procedure, the patient is provided with some strong laxatives so to clean the colon and the zone, which this can result with a little discomfort and pain.
Although it is important that we do not skip this test, even when it can be a very painful and uncomfortable since according to the National Cancer Institute, colon exams can prevent important ailments by treating them in time and reduce the risk of cancer colorectal to a 70%
2. Spinal Tap or Lumbar Puncture
This can be called as “A real needle-phobic nightmare”.
In this procedure, the patient must keep himself in a fetal position in order to stretch the spine, while the doctor inserts a thin needle in the middle of 2 vertebrae in order to extract cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal canal.
With this, doctors can examine the fluid and detect serious infections, and even some types of cancer cells.
The “good part” is that many patients suffer the initial puncture and that it is possible to apply local anesthesia in said area in order to reduce pain.
However, some experiences of people who had this medical examination, mention that it is not so painful during the time of the procedure, but the pain increases after it has been performed, being a pain so significant that it prevents sitting, getting up or even walk, suffering considerable amounts of pain even several days after this exam.
This is still one of the most effective methods to prevent Breast Cancer.
But you can ask any woman who has had a mammogram. Surely they tell you that it is a very uncomfortable and painful test, which can also leave the breasts quite sensitive until days later.
Therefore, this medical examination should be done after the flow period, because before or during the same, the breasts are more sensitive so you may experience a lot of pain.
It is also recommended to prepare a painkiller or medication with ibuprofen for after this test.
4. Bone Marrow Exam
This procedure is usually ordered from a doctor if you have abnormal results in a blood test.
Your doctor may want to check your bone marrow (the spongy tissue inside your bones), to detect blood disorders or even certain types of cancer.
There are two ways to perform this procedure: one is by taking samples of the bone marrow fluid, and the other is by performing a biopsy that samples the tissue.
Unfortunately, both forms involve large and long needles, with which samples are taken by a puncture in the hip.
In some cases, it is possible that our doctor wants to use local anesthesia to perform the examination, although still, patients may experience acute pain, even a few days later when trying to perform certain types of daily movements.
5. Cervical Biopsy
A cervical biopsy is a procedure that can be suggested by a doctor if you have had a Pap test with abnormal results, or have shown positive results for human papillomavirus.
This procedure is performed in order to detect and prevent a possible case of cervical cancer.
If the Pap test was already an annoying and a little painful procedure, the cervical biopsy increases it even more, since in the realization of this medical test, a sample of the tissue of the cervix is extracted using some tools, such as a circular blade, a laser, a scalpel, or a scraping tool called a curette.
The positive side is that doctors usually perform this procedure by applying local anesthesia, so the procedure is more bearable and less uncomfortable. In addition, we must bear in mind that the early detection of cervical cancer is the key to begin treatment and fight it, it is a medical examination that is not recommended to postpone in absolute.
We have also made a list with some of the most painful surgeries, so we are listing them below.
Top 6 most painful surgeries
As we have already mentioned at the beginning of this article, we clarify that each person is different, and different individuals can live or experience the same situation in a different way, but in general, these surgeries have been listed by painful.
We also clarify again that we simply list some of the operations that were found when conducting a search in different sources of information and based in our overall experience over the years, they are not listed in any pain type of scale or classification.
1. Spinal fusion
The vertebrae of the spine may be affected due to diseases such as scoliosis and degenerative disc disease.
When due to these and other diseases, the movement of the vertebrae is causing great pain, a medical specialist may recommend spinal fusion surgery. In this surgical process, two or more vertebrae are joined or connected in order to prevent the movement of one against the other.
Occasionally, to perform the surgery, it is necessary to take a hip bone and place it on the spine to aid in the fusion of the vertebrae. This process is called a bone graft.
In some cases, especially in those who have undergone a bone graft, it is possible that patients suffer from significant pain, which can become chronic, after having undergone surgery.
2. Open surgery on the heel bone
When a person fractures their heel bone, but it has not moved significantly out of place, it is likely that he does not have to go through the surgical process.
Although if this is not the case, then the patient should probably undergo surgery.
In this surgical process, the surgeon must cut into the skin to get to the broken bone and then fix them back together using plates or screws.
The skin that is around the heel is thin, and the area does not have large amounts of soft tissue, so it is possible that during the surgery certain nerves in the area are damaged.
That, added to the fact of fixed plates or screws, can make recovery and post-operation process very painful.
3. Complex Spinal Reconstruction
A complex spinal reconstruction refers to several methods that can be used to treat the damage caused due to certain disorders of the spine, such as scoliosis or spinal stenosis.
In these processes, a surgeon may use metal bars and screws to try to correct the posture of a curved spine or stabilize it.
The spine is an area that has a wide concentration of nerves and nerve endings so this can make the surgery and recovery can be very painful.
4. Abdominal Hysterectomy
A hysterectomy is a procedure in which a woman’s uterus is removed.
There are several ways to perform a hysterectomy, however, the most common are: as procedures using a laparoscopic, or an abdominal hysterectomy.
Laparoscopic procedures are usually recognized as less painful since the recovery period is usually shorter and less painful, contrary to abdominal hysterectomy, which has a longer and more painful recovery period.
The recovery from an abdominal hysterectomy can take between 4 and 6 weeks. In addition to causing pain during this time, it will also partially make it impossible to perform certain movements, since as the abdominal muscles are involved in most everyday movements, we will have great pains in performing simple tasks such as stopping, moving, sitting and even sleeping in the bed.
Liposuction is known as the removal of body fat that has not lost weight for some reason, even after struggling after exercises or diets.
This is usually an aesthetic operation of your own choice.
However, there are cases in which a doctor can recommend it, as in the extraction of a benign fat tumor, or when an abnormal metabolism of fat is detected.
The recovery process is quite annoying and painful, since most people suffer from severe swelling in the treated area, and they have bruises for up to more than 10 days.
However, the discomfort and sensitivity of the area can last even several weeks after the intervention, and you can suffer great pain with little touch or friction with objects. This time of recovery and pain also depends on the person, their physical complexion and the amount of fat that is extracted from the body.
6. Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation operations are aesthetic and optional operations, which are usually quick, so in less than one or two hours after the surgery, you will probably have a medical discharge.
Despite this, the recovery can take several days and become very painful, since there are cases in which patients can experience pain so intense that it prevents them from moving out of bed and getting up on their own for more than 2 days. The pain may take several weeks to completely disappear.
By the end, we decided to put giving birth as a final part of the list, since it is not a medical procedure or a surgical procedure itself, however, it may involve an epidural injection, an episiotomy or a cesarean section. In addition, even when everything is done normally, childbirth is usually the maximum pain threshold according to the experience of women.
It is true that many of these procedures are very painful, but we have to keep in mind that this is necessary to maintain and check ourselves to have everything alright with our body to feel good.
As much as we are involved in procedures that may be of our own choice or not, we must take into account correctly follow the instruction of the specialists to have a recovery as quick and friendly as possible.
And we must remember that: it is preferable “to prevent than to regret”, so that can save us many difficulties and pain in our lives in the future.