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Papers of the Week

2022 Sep 14

Br J Anaesth

Cardiac surgery’s long opioid dependency: time to recalibrate pain therapy?


Rong LQ, Shen L, Bartels K
Br J Anaesth. 2022 Sep 14.
PMID: 36115713.


Opioid analgesia is the cornerstone of anaesthetic management during cardiac surgery. However, a subset of patients use opioids persistently after 3 months of surgery. We discuss a recent meta-analysis and systematic review by Liu and colleagues describing both patient and peri-procedural risk factors that contribute to this phenomenon in the context of chronic pain after cardiac surgery. Anaesthetists for cardiac surgery should consider opioid alternatives and individual patient risk factors to optimise recovery and pain control.