Postoperative pain management

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Inadequately treated pain is a major cause of unanticipated hospital admissions after ambulatory surgery. The ability to provide adequate pain relief by simple methods that are readily available to the day-care patient in his or her home environment is one of the major challenges for providers of ambulatory surgery and anesthesia. The increasing number of extensive and painful surgical procedures (e.g., laparoscopic cholecystectomy, laminectomy, knee construction, hysterectomies) being undertaken on an ambulatory basis presents new challenges with respect to acute postoperative pain. Hence the availability of more sophisticated and effective treatment modalities, such as ambulatory PCA and continuous local and regional anesthetic blocks, with minimal side effects, are necessary to optimize the benefits of ambulatory surgery for both patient and health care provider. However, outcome studies are needed to evaluate the effect of these newer therapeutic approaches with respect to postoperative side effects and other important recovery parameters. Recent studies suggest that factors other than pain per se must be controlled to reduce postoperative morbidity and facilitate the recovery process. Not surprisingly, the anesthetic technique can influence analgesic requirement in the early postoperative period. Although oral analgesic agents will continue to play an important role, the adjunctive use of local anesthetic agents is likely to assume an even greater role in the future. Use of drug combinations (e.g., opiates and local anesthetics, opiates and NSAIDs) may provide improved analgesia with fewer side effects. Finally, safer and simpler analgesic delivery systems are needed to improve our ability to provide cost-effective pain relief after ambulatory surgery. In conclusion, as a result of our enhanced understanding of the mechanisms of acute pain and the physiological basis of nociception, the provision of 'stress-free' anesthesia with minimal postoperative discomfort is now possible for most patients undergoing elective surgical procedures. The aim of an analgesic technique should be not only to lower the pain scores but also to facilitate earlier mobilization and reduce perioperative complications. If future clinical investigations clarify the issues that have been raised by laboratory studies, clinicians may be able to effectively treat postoperative pain using combinations of 'balanced,' 'preemptive,' and 'peripheral' analgesia. More important, improved analgesic techniques will increase patient satisfaction and enhance their perception of ambulatory anesthesia and surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-126
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Anesthesiology Clinics
Volume32
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994

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Pain Management
Postoperative Pain
Ambulatory Surgical Procedures
Analgesics
Opiate Alkaloids
Pain
Local Anesthetics
Aptitude
Anesthesia
Acute Pain
Analgesia
Anesthetics
Elective Surgical Procedures
Early Ambulation
Passive Cutaneous Anaphylaxis
Laminectomy
Nociception
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Therapeutic Uses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Cite this

Postoperative pain management. / Joshi, G. P.

In: International Anesthesiology Clinics, Vol. 32, No. 3, 1994, p. 113-126.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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