Anesthesia and analgesia for gynecological surgery

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Purpose of review

High-quality analgesia has been linked to improved patient satisfaction as well as improved short-term and long-term postoperative outcomes. Acute surgical pain is a modifiable risk factor for development of chronic postoperative pain, which is reported by up to 26% of gynecologic surgical patients. In other surgical populations, multimodal analgesia has shown improved pain control and decreased reliance on opioids. This review examines recent evidence for various analgesic modalities applied specifically to the gynecologic surgical population.

Recent findings

Nonopioid agents like acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, and gamma-aminobutyric acid analogs resulted in reduction in postoperative pain and opioid consumption. Application of regional anesthetic techniques had a favorable effect that persisted beyond the immediate recovery period. Preemptive analgesia remains unproven. The best evidence for effective combinations comes from ERAS studies that incorporated multimodal analgesia into a systemic approach geared towards early discharge.


Multimodal analgesia had demonstrated advantages for all types of gynecological surgeries in terms of improving postoperative pain control and minimizing opioid-related adverse effects. Multimodal analgesia includes acetaminophen, NSAIDS, and gamma-aminobutyric acid analogs combined with intraoperative nonopioid analgesics such as ketamine, regional anesthesia or intrathecal morphine. Further research should focus on determining most effective combinations and doses of multimodal analgesia.

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