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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb




Avoid Postoperative Pain To Prevent Its Chronification: A Narrative Review.


Montero Matamala A, Hanna M, Perrot S, Varrassi G
Cureus. 2022 Feb; 14(2):e22243.
PMID: 35340463.


Acute postoperative pain is a normal and expected part of the patient's postsurgical trajectory, and its intensity, severity, and duration vary with surgery-related and patient factors. In a subset of patients, postoperative pain does not resolve as the tissue heals but instead transitions to chronic postoperative pain, a challenging condition to treat and one associated with decreased quality of life, sleep and mood disorders, and neuropathy. Promptly and adequately treating acute postoperative pain can reduce the risk that it will transition into chronic postoperative pain. Numerous agents are available that may help treat postoperative pain, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, opioids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and others. In this connection, it is also important to consider patient factors, such as mental health status and comorbidities, as well as the type and duration of surgery. A multimodal approach is recommended, which uses two or more agents with complementary mechanisms of action, working at different targets. Multimodal analgesia may also reduce adverse events and lessen opioid consumption after surgery. A particularly useful fixed-dose combination product is dexketoprofen/tramadol (DEX-TRA), which is safe and effective in numerous clinical trials. This review is based on a presentation from the Roma Pain Days scientific sessions of 2021.