Cochrane Review: Chronic Pain Can Persist After Major Surgery
Miami Beach, Fla.—Administration of local or regional anesthesia before some major surgeries can prevent long-term pain for patients at five to six months postoperatively, according to a recent meta-analysis.
“A large percentage of people have pain at six months, especially after thoracotomy, breast cancer surgery and cesarean section” Michael H. Andreae, MD, said in an interview at the Annual Fall Meeting of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine.
Dr. Andreae and his associate, Doerthe A. Andreae, MD, identified 23 double-blind, randomized controlled trials in the literature that compared local or regional anesthesia technology (epidural, spinal or local blocks) with conventional treatment of pain (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDS] or morphine) and grouped them according to the surgical intervention. Many studies showed that local or regional anesthesia can prevent chronic pain after different surgical interventions, but a meta-analysis could only be performed if there was more than one study in a surgical subgroup.
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Pain control after surgery is a very important part of the recovery process. This may sounds obvious but the trajectory of the recovery can be affected by early severe pain. Pre-surgical assessment of pain, the condition and the person is vital in planning how the symptoms are going to be controlled, allowing for adaptive and positive behaviours, thinking and actions to begin swiftly after the operation.