Evaluating the Implementation of a Preemptive, Multimodal Analgesia Protocol in a Plastic Surgery Office
Many patients undergoing plastic surgery experience significant pain postoperatively. The use of preemptive, multimodal analgesia techniques to reduce postoperative pain has been widely described in the literature. This quality improvement project evaluated the implementation of a preemptive, multimodal analgesia protocol in an office-based plastic surgery facility to decrease postoperative pain, decrease postoperative opioid consumption, decrease postanesthesia care time, and increase patient satisfaction. The project included adult patients undergoing surgical procedures at an outpatient plastic and cosmetic surgery office, and the protocol consisted of oral acetaminophen 1,000 mg and gabapentin 1,200 mg. Using a pre-/postintervention design, data were collected from patient medical records and telephone interviews of patients receiving the standard preoperative analgesia regimen (preintervention group: n = 24) and the evidence-based preemptive, multimodal analgesia protocol (postintervention group: n = 23). Results indicated no significant differences between the pre- and postintervention groups for any of the outcomes measured. However, results showed that patients in both groups experienced moderate to severe pain postoperatively. In addition, adverse side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness were higher in the postintervention group than in the preintervention group. Although this quality improvement project did not meet the goals it set out to achieve for patients undergoing plastic surgery, it did illustrate the substantial presence of pain after surgical procedures. Thus, clinicians need to continue to focus on identifying targeted treatment plans that use multimodal, non-opioid-based strategies to manage and prevent postoperative pain.