Examining Recent Advances in Postoperative Pain Management

Proper pain control after surgery is important to prevent negative outcomes such as tachycardia, hypertension, myocardial ischemia, decrease in alveolar ventilation, and poor wound healing (scarring). Exacerbations of acute pain can lead to neural sensitization and release of mediators both peripherally and centrally. A recent paper in the Yale Journal of Biology & Medicine explores new advances in treatments to better ameliorate these conditions and put patients on quicker paths to recovery while diminishing setbacks.

Pain has been found to be one of the three most common medical causes of delayed discharge after ambulatory surgery. Despite this overwhelming rationale for effective postoperative pain control, the clinical reality is, unfortunately, still far from satisfactory. As a recent editorial title suggests, we have a long way to go to achieve satisfactory postoperative pain control.

With the many advances in pain management for the surgical patient, surgeons and pain care providers have myriad choices of analgesic pharmacotherapy and analgesic techniques to choose from to provide adequate postoperative pain control for the surgical patient in the 21st century. However, many factors must be considered before deciding on the type of pain therapy to be provided to the surgical patient. These include the patients’ co-morbid conditions, psychological status, exposure to analgesic therapies, and the type of surgical procedure.

Read the full paper here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2844689/

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