Postoperative Pain and Analgesia in Children Undergoing Palatal Surgery: A Retrospective Chart Review

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Abstract

Purpose:

Pediatric patients undergoing palatal surgery may experience significant postoperative pain. Undertreatment of acute postoperative pain may impact postoperative bleeding and recovery. The primary objectives of this study were to evaluate the severity of acute postoperative pain scores, analgesia management, and discharge times after palatal surgery.

Design and Methods:

A retrospective chart review was performed for all patients aged <18 years, born with cleft palate who underwent palatal surgery over a 1-year period. The primary outcome variable was the highest pain score recorded by the nursing staff at various time frames postoperatively.

Findings:

Overall, the infant/toddler group demonstrated higher postoperative pain scores throughout the first 24 hours (1- to 6-hour period, P = .015). The duration of hospital stay was significantly greater in the infant/toddler age group (P < .001).

Conclusion:

The results of our study indicate that frequent pain monitoring, multimodal approach, and “round-the-clock” analgesics may be warranted in this vulnerable patient population.

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