Neither, I've been really surprised with the packing over the past month and a half, no pain going in or taking the gauze out pre-shower. But yes Cricket, just wetting the bandage does nothing! If you can't get it out or it's too painful, then soak the bandage first then take it out, but make sure to run the water through that wound! [x0x]
When i had the lancing done, the pulling out hurt worse than putting it back in. When i had the surgery, they would wet the gauze first, and it would hurt a little, but very very little. Now (two weeks later) I don't even feel the gauze some out, and i can feel the gauze go in, but it doesn't hurt
The first time they pulled the packing out it was extremely painful and I didn't expect it. The packing was in there for two days the first time because Dr was closed. They gave me lidocaine to put the packing back in but the needle probably hurts just as much. The more frequently they changed it the less it hurt coming out but the repacking always hurt. Lots of fist clenching kicking the table and cursing for me! I apologized though to the nurses. I don't usually curse.
I've had two packing experiences. My first experience was easily the worst pain I have ever felt. Both packing in and out was excruciating. The gauze was so long, it was like a magician pulling the scarf out of his sleeve. The first experience was after a drainage. My second experience was after surgery. I was actually left wth a closed wound with stitches. There was no need for stuffing, but my body ended up regecting the stitches and getting infected. My wound had to be opened, so that my doctor could remove my inner stitches. After that I was left with an open wound in need of packing. I hardly even feel any pain this time around with my packing. It feels strange when packing it out, and there is slight discomfort and pain when packing it in, but it really isn't that bad. I am being packed with much less gauze this time around so that definitely has to do with it. So I think that the answer to this question is different for everyone situation.
I just had my first packing removed. It was a stinging and weird feeling to the point where i cried taking it out. I felt like it was never ending. Packing in on the other hand, i didn't feel a thing, it just felt awkward. I recommend using a lot of saline and soaking gauze in tub for 10-15mins.
The best way to remove the packing with no pain at all is to remove it while in the shower. I was instructed to take my fast acting pain medication a half hour before my in house nurse came to pack my wound, wasent fun but helped. The nurse also gave me some wound gel she would put on the strip and I healed really really fast.