Postoperative Pain Control

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Abstract

The effective relief of pain is of the utmost importance to anyone treating patients undergoing surgery. Pain relief has significant physiological benefits; hence, monitoring of pain relief is increasingly becoming an important postoperative quality measure. The goal for postoperative pain management is to reduce or eliminate pain and discomfort with a minimum of side effects. Various agents (opioid vs. nonopioid), routes (oral, intravenous, neuraxial, regional) and modes (patient controlled vs. “as needed”) for the treatment of postoperative pain exist. Although traditionally the mainstay of postoperative analgesia is opioid based, increasingly more evidence exists to support a multimodal approach with the intent to reduce opioid side effects (such as nausea and ileus) and improve pain scores. Enhanced recovery protocols to reduce length of stay in colorectal surgery are becoming more prevalent and include multimodal opioid sparing regimens as a critical component. Familiarity with the efficacy of available agents and routes of administration is important to tailor the postoperative regimen to the needs of the individual patient.

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