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pain before surgery

Hi Molly from Stonewall, I have just been diagnosed and am going for debunking surgery in a couple of weeks.  I'm trying to be positive and can be most days but it's hard, and it's worse when I'm in pain.  Is everyone in pain before surgery?


  • Hi Molly - I remember the discomfort from the ascites and the pleural effusion before surgery, and pain too.  Have you spoken with your family doctor about the pain... they might prescribe something to make you more comfortable. 
    There will be post-surgical pain as well, but that is very well managed with drugs.  I felt much better after surgery - it was a great relief. 
    Thinking about you and sending you healing thoughts.  You are not alone, I am on your side rooting for you!
  • JaneWest
    @MollyM I had some pain prior to surgery due to the amount of cancer in my pelvis. I have found that my Cancercare team always worked with me to find ways to manage any pain or symptoms; they never wanted me to suffer. That was comforting. After surgery, take it very slow and be gentle with yourself. Healing and recovery does take time, but it always gets better.  For me, it was such a relief to have the surgery and finally be rid of what was inside and causing trouble. Don't forget to have a pillow to put over your stomach - it really helps if you're moving, coughing, laughing even! Best wishes.
  • Jackie
    Jackie Community Champion

    I didn’t realize how much pain and pressure there was in my abdomen until they removed two large cancerous tumours. One of the tumours filled my uterus almost completely, the other was on my right ovary. The doctors ultimately had to perform two additional surgeries and administer chemotherapy, but it was such a relief to have those malignant growths that had been invading my body gone!

  • Flowergirl
    HI @MollyM - I hope you are doing as well as can be and are able to connect with your DR and Oncology team to help alleviate the pain. We will be thinking of you before and after surgery and good thoughts sent your way as you recover.
  • Hi @MollyM  Welcome to OVdialogue and thanks for starting this discussion!  I hope the comments have been helpful to you.  I think talking to your doctor about help with the pain is a great idea to keep you comfortable until the surgery.  You might also want to check out the discussion on tips for Surgery Prep if you haven't already.  

    We have a guide available for women recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer called "By Your Side".  I can send you one or you can order it online at

    It is hard to stay positive all the time having just received your diagnosis and now waiting for surgery.  There may be lots of unknowns still and it is normal to feel apprehensive.  The women also talk about this in the discussion on anxiety.  Do you have people around you that are supportive and that you can talk to?  You can always connect with our Regional Director in your area, Stephanie Gosselin.  She can also refer you to other local resources.  Here is her contact information 
  • Hi Molly, my pain was awful before the surgery I had ascites was so uncomfortable, I did get pain medication, after the surgery it was a different pain but knowing I was one step closer to recovery was helpful.  Take it slow and easy one day at a time, all the best to you.  
  • Hi @MollyM I just read your comments about pain.  I had ascites as well 6 litres when first diagnosed and then 4 litres when it recurred about 1 /14 later.  Now I am ok.  I had debulking surgery as well.  Cleaned out as they say.  I have had occasional pain since then but thankfully nothing severe.  I hope you surgery did go well.  
  • My pain only seemed to happen when I laid down, Tylenol did help, but I did spend many hours sleeping propped up until my surgery. Then the pain was gone.