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I was addicted to Vics for about a year and a half. I finally decided to give that life up and was put on Suboxone. It has really helped me and I am glad for it. My concern is that I need to have surgery because I have Crohn's Disease and need to have an operation done. My question is, how long do I need to be off the Suboxone for the meds that they will use in surgery and of course the pain meds that will be used afterwards will do there job? I know Suboxone has an ingredient that blocks you from teh effects of the pain meds, but having surgery I am going to need something. If anyone can tell me how long I need to be off the suboxone so that it is out of my system, it will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Hey, dont know if you got the info you needed or not yet, but I would recommend you speak with ALL of your current and potential doctors to make sure everyone is on the same page before your surgery. I had been on suboxone for about a year and had to have a kidney surgery. My suboxone doc said to just not take the suboxone for a day or 2 before the surgery---but he was very wrong.

I also made a HUGE point of talking to the anesthiesiologist, the surgeon, and the attending physician on my case at the hospital. I also talked about the suboxone to the nurses assigned to me each shift prior to (and after) the surgery and they would all say "oh, yeah, we have that in your chart".."yeah, we know you are on suboxone"..."yeah, the doctor is aware you are opiate tolerant"..etc., etc.

However, when I got out of surgery, I was in the most horrible pain imaginable and I kept telling them that something was wrong and they would not listen. Even when the doctors came to check on my post-op, I said "you know I am on suboxone, right? I dont think the pain meds are working...I cant even describe the pain I am in"...and I couldnt stop crying because of how bad it hurt and they just kept giving me 2mg of morphine via IV every 2 hours and then 2 percocets/tylox every 6 hours once I could take meds by mouth...and NOTHING MADE EVEN A SLIGHT DIFFERENCE. On top of that, by the 3rd day, even though they had me on the opiate pain meds listed above, I was still having some slight withdrawal symptoms (which I had not experienced at any point while on the suboxone). On the 4th day I was discharged home with a script to take 1-2 percocets (5/500 strength) every 6 hours as needed for pain. They continued to do nothting and I was still in terrible pain because I had to keep a stent in for a week after I was discharged.

I finally couldnt take it anymore and called the doc who prescribes the suboxone and explained what had happened...he said this is something he hears from his patients ALL the time and he suggested that I call the surgeon's office and talk to him about the suboxone and specifically say to the surgeon the following phrases: "I have been completely opiate tolerant for over 3 years" and "I am on Suboxone, a medication that blocks the opiate receptors in my body". I exlained that I had told everyone I was on suboxone both before and after the surgery and the doctor again said it was very important that I use those exact words.

I called the surgeons office and did that and his response---which made me break down crying and in shock---was: "oh yeah, I remember you saying you were on that medication...what is it again? I dont know what that is." ...I again said what the other doctor had told me to tell him and he had me come in (now 5 days out of surgery with ABSOLUTELY NO PAIN RELIEF BECAUSE THE MEDS I WAS GIVEN WERE BLOCKED BY MY SUBOXONE!) and he gave me a script for Dilaudid. Even then it turned out that the strength he gave (2mg every 4 hours) did nothing and I, with his permission, experimented up to a dose that gave me some pain relief---this ended up being 10mg of Dilaudid every 4 hours.

I know the amount of pain meds needed will be different for each person--but you should make ABSOLUTELY 100% CERTAIN that your doctors/surgeons/aftercare people/nurses ALL understand exactly what suboxone is and why you are taking it. If you do not do this, they will not prescribe enough meds to help you because the amount that someone who is opiate tolerant (and if you are on suboxone, you are opiate tolerant) will need for pain relief is much more than would be safe for someone who is not opiate tolerant to take.

I hope this doesnt scare you away from getting the medical care you need...much the opposite...I hope that it encourages you to talk to your doctor about your health care situation as openly and honestly as possible. In my experiences, altough nurses can sometimes by snyde and not very understanding about the situation, doctors willl make every attempt to accomodate you as long as they understand the situation. Do not just count on being able to handle it after the fact though because I can tell you from experience that if you are in that much pain, it becomes very difficult to articulate your situation effectively or adequately.

And for what it is worth, it isnt like I was on suboxone to get off heroin or anything...just becuase I got physically dependent on vicodin through pain mangement for a chronic pain condition. I eventually got lucky enough to find an awesome doctor who was able to manage my chronic pain through non-opiate meds and then ended up unable to come off the vicodin without withdrawal symptoms so I started taking suboxone. When I have seen the suboxone doc since the surgery, I asked about why I would have had so little pain relief even though I stopped taking the suboxone 2 days before the surgery and he said it is more likely that the opiate tolerance, not the opiate receptors being blocked was responsible for the pain meds in the hospital not working.

Good luck to you...and I would also recommend that you talk to your suboxone doc prior to your surgery because it may help for your surgeon and suboxone doc to talk prior to the surgery to make a plan to ensure your pain is properly managed if you are having a major surgery.
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I just read the "suboxone horror story" above. I'm completely panicked at this point!! I'm scheduled to have stomache surgery in a month and I take suboxone daily. I, too, was taking opiates daily, me for migraines. Suboxone changed my life. I've been taking it since March 2008. I'm scared that I'll be in serious pain in the hospital though!! I saw my GP today who prescribes my suboxone, and he says, "no problem, just stop taking the medication 2 days before the surgery, and start taking it again when you get home." Then I read the above story, and holy c**p!! Can anyone else shed some light on suboxone and surgeries????
Thanks!!
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Traceyboop, I have been taking Suboxone for about one year after a 20 year addiction to pain medication and must have hip replacement surgery. I'm very curious to find out how your situation turned out? Thanks in advance for your assistance.

I woudl appreciate responses from anyone else that has relevant experience.
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I ended up having a miscarriage with a huge blood clot stuck in my uterus. The doctor ended up doing a D & C (scraping of the uterus) and put me on contaction medicine for 3 days to pass the clot. For 4 days I was in pain, I had not taken Suboxone for 2 days as well. Most medical personel don't know or understand this medicine but they should understand that your tolerance is much higher than just regular Jane Doe that they deal with on a daily basis. But whatever you do, make sure you don't take the Subloxone until you have stopped taking the pain meds for at least 24 hours, because it can put you through major withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone will give you the dt's if you have opiates in you system before taking it. Subutex can be given though. Hope this helps.
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YES, I had a blood clot inside my uteres that I had to pass last June. It took 7 shots of Demeral for me to feel anything after 2 days of being off the suboxone. It never even knocked me out like it used too. I started taking Suboxone because of being addicted to opiates for about 2 years. Well, most medical personel that deal with regular Jane and John Doe's aren't aware of Suboxone. They probably know more about Methadone though. But thats another conversation I will have to look up. But yeah, I was in the hospital for 4 days on Pitocin, which is induced labor to pass my blood clot and once admitted, only got 2 percocet (10) mgs. every 3 to 4 hours. And I didn't feel a thing. i guess we should bring some research when we go to get surgery. I remember seeing some kind of brochure that you can print out describing your "conditon" as we have. If i find it I will post the web page on this post . If not I hope this helps. BE FIRM AND DIRECT AND TELL EVERYONE THE WHOLE STORY> EVEN PRINT THESE POSTS TO SHOW THEM HOW WE ARE AFFECTED.
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naabt.org has some great info guys, I found the web page:

naabt.org/documents/PCSSAcutePainGuidance.pdf
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I was an opiate addict for about 5 years solid before going on the suboxone. I was on Suboxone for almost a year when I had to have a lumbar microdiscectomy. I never stopped taking the suboxone and went thru the surgery without the use of any narcotic pain meds. I used Motrin and Tylenol and I hurt some but nothing major. All of my drs knew my addiction history and everyone at that hospital up until the nurse practioner discharging me TRIED to give me narcotics. They either didnt know what Suboxone was or they didn't read my chart. Anyone going through surgery should make dang sure you explain to everyone what you are taking and make sure they are familiar with it. Otherwise you will be given the same cookie cutter treatment that everyone else gets and will end up like the horror story above.

Surgery w/out the narcotics isnt for everyone but I can assure you it was not that bad. I was just honestly worried that I would like the high and that i wuld be off and running again. Just be honest with yourself.
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I was on opiates for about 15 years as the result of a serious car accident. Seven years before going to see a pain mgt. doctor, I kicked the pills for a better way of life. To see what could be done for the chronic pain in my neck and back that had worsened over the years, I went to see a pain mgt doc (Malone austin Tx)who prescribed Suboxone. The dr. said it was not addictive, great for relieving pain and would stop cravings for opiates too! What a great doctor!

I was on Suboxone for almost a year when I had to have a clavicalectomy and a something-or-other decompression- (that had to do with the same area.) I asked my pain management doctor's PA or "provider" as the staff refers to the Phys asst. what I needed to do about the surgery and the suboxone. She lied about it or doesn't know anything about it, saying that it would not interfere with the pain meds or the anesthesia. She said when I start the post surgical meds to stop the suboxone. That was it.

I discussed the Suboxone with my Orthopedic Physician who is a Saint (Dr R. Lutz)and the Anesthesiologist the day of the surgury. They knew nothing of the drug but made note of it. When the nerve block failed twice the anesthesiologist asked a few more questions but it didn't make any difference. I was screwed from then on. Normally the nerve block lasts 24 hours (it did the first time I had this procedure done on the other shoulder) The nerve block, the fentenyl, one other pre-surgical med used to bring you under had very little effect.

When the anesthesiologist performs a nerve block in your arm and shoulder, he has to stick a needle deep in your neck that goes as close to the spinal column as possible. The needle is capable of conducting electicity via an electrical device at the other end and is used to shock the nerve root at the spine so that your arm, hand and fingers jump or contract. That is how he knows he is in the right area to inject the block medicine. Well I was completely alert for all of this and couldn't say a thing. yea.

The nerve block lasted for about 8 hours and I wanted to shoot myself for the next five days to stop the pain. I asked my orthopedist for some dilaudid and he scripted 40 2mg pills. I took them like the script was written: 2 every 4-6 hrs and that didn't do much either. ('>;)')

I finally got on-line and found you guys talking about the perils of suboxone. I have taken 5 every 4 hours for the last 3 doses and it helps only a little bit. But thats better than nothing I guess. I don't know if my Ortho will refill this script and for the amount I have been taking but I do appreciate knowing I wasn't playing tricks on myself. Good luck to me.

If there is any good news to this story it is that gas prices have gone down since the surgery to almost 1.59 here and I haven't bombed the pain clinic. I'm not like that anyway.
>:(
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I usually take 3-4 8mg Suboxone tablets a day for being addicted to morphine for years. I am about to have surgery in 20 and some odd days and my doctor also told me to just be off of the suboxone 1-2days prior to the surgery. I am lowering my suboxone dosage each day though. I am now currently taking 1 to 1 1/2 8mg tablets each day to lower the amount of suboxone I have in my blood stream. I am going to try and stop suboxone totally at least 3 days prior to my surgery because of these stories and going to try to be on the lowest dose i can make myself take prior to stopping. The surgeon is going to give me oxycontin 40mg after the surgery. I hope this will be enough.

Thanks
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I am having neck surgery, specifically Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion. Donor Graft and Instrumentation and Anethesia for pain management. I am freaked about the whole concept of opiate and blockers while doing surgery. Am I going to be put out but feel every bone crush and slice and dice? The Doctor doing the sugery has never heard of Suboxone. I'm afraid to try and educate him because of fear of pissing him off. My Pain management doctor told me to look specifics up on line and print them for him. The dr. giving me the suboxone said, well he would talk to the dr doing the surgery if I felt it necessary. Am I loosing mhy mind or am I in big trouble here. Someone, anyone, please give me some advice, please. Thanks for reading and I hope to see some replies. Randy
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I am on suboxone and am going to be having surgery on my stomach they found a mass on the backside of my stomach. i have been soo worried about what i will do for the pain and i was wondering if anyone has switched to methadone from suboxone i was on it before and was thinking i should switch back to that for a few months till i get my health in order any insight would be nice
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This is my first time writing on this forum but I feel as if it is my duty to all of my fellow recovering addicts. Some stories are very similar to mine, but just to reiterate their point I will share my story. I hope it helps some one. I habe been on Suboxone for almost a year now. After about 6 months I felt as if I was strong enough by now to try it on my own so I began tapering down VERY slowly. My boyfriend also began that process with me. He started out at 8-16 mgs a day, I started out at 8 a day. By the time he finished tapering and was ready to jump he was taking .06 mg. (we liquefied it to ensure accuracy). He called the doctor and told her how far he had tapered and she said he was taking a "placebo" and just stop taking it and he would feel no discomfort. she was wrong and he suffered nearly 3 weeks of hell. he had been preparing for this by going to the gym with me everyday and taking supplement like vitamins, magnesium, and bee pollen. Suboxone still won. For the first two weeks he barely had it in him to feed our 2 year old son. That was two months ago and he is of course better now. So here comes my horror story. Knowing my time was coming I began tapering down as fast as I could, but even tapering down had horrible effects on me. I was tired, my skin would get goose bumps and then start sweating, and working two jobs and taking care of a two year old while your boyfriend is currently "out of order" proved challenging. To make matters worse, at this time I began to get excruciatingly painful stomach cramps and to make a long story short, i needed surgery to remove my gall bladder and to fix and umbilical hernia. Soon. At the appointment with the doctor I explained that, among other meds I was taking for stomach cramps, that I was aslo taking Suboxone for an OPIATE addiction, Unfamiliar with the drug he did a bit of his own research. I even encouraged him to look up the web page of the makers of the drug, Bueprenephrim (spelling?) where they have specific intsructions for doctors to follow for patients who are taking Suboxone. It states that the patient should cease taking the medication 3-4 days prior to surgery and that even with this precaution the patient will require even higher doeses of pain meds AS THEY ARE OPIATE TOLERANT. with me so far?
i had already been tapering down the meds for some time now and was almost ready to make the jump and be Suboxone free. I was taking about 0.25 mg for a few weeks and then took my last dose 5 days before surgery. I had horrible withdrawals, just like that of coming off opiates.
the day of surgery came and when i woke up i was in AGONY. Just to explain the kind of agony I was in i'll tell you this: I felt the c-section I had with my 2year old (that is a whole other story, suffice to say it was an emergency and there weren't many options) but this pain was just as horrible as the pain I felt the day i gave birth.
the doctor even told my family that he was worried that i would be a "post-op nightmare" with the kind of pain he feared i would be in. he was right. even after being off Suboxone for 5 days, NO pain meds could help me. NOTHING could even knock me out at this point. And breathing was excruciating. I could take only small gasps at a time. This lasted for three days. I even had to be admitted int to he hospital although both of theses surgeries are outpatient. But there was no other way to control my pain.
when i left, i handed over my meds to a responsible party. i took them, as scheduled, for 4 days. Now I am going through terrible withdrawals. I am on day 5 of these WDs and have no idea if I am withdrawing from Suboxone, the strong meds they gave me at the hospital, or the lortabs (5mg) that i took following the surgery. My boyfriend felt horrible for 3 weeks. I have no idea how long this will last, nor is thtat the reason that I write this. I hope ths is a warning to anyone who is on Suboxone and scheduled to have surgery. No matter what your Suboxone doctor tells you, please do your own reaserch. My story is not the only one of its kind.
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My heart goes out to you, I completely understand from my experience that 98% of medical community has no idea what suboxone is, and most importantly, very large part of all the doctors in our country, don't care about patients to the point, they would not have a care if a person died a horrible death due to their conduct. My mom was killed by a doctor, actually murdered. My friend's grandma was in the surgery when he accidentally spilled half a gallon of acid on her face which immediately ate most of her skull, he was seen eating lunch in the cafeteria, laughing after the surgery.
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I am having surgery for a broken fifth metatarsal (left foot broken) Screws in my bones etc., I hope my surgeon is right. He says to take my suboxone as normal and they will give me extra medication just in case. I am very panic stricken and think maybe the best thing to do is take my 8 mg's of suboxone like he says, but have my mom hold an extra suboxone on her. That way if they give me nothing, or it doesn't work, I have extra sub to take if nothing else.
anyone who can help please do!
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