Pharmacological Methods of Postoperative Pain Management After Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: A Review of Meta-analyses

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Background:Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is the optimal approach for patients with symptomatic cholecystolithiasis. Although LC has some advantages, many patients experience postoperative pain.Methods:In this review, we aimed to study the available information and meta-analyses of pharmacological methods of postoperative pain management in patients undergoing LC. Two researchers conducted a literature search in multiple databases (PubMed, Web of Science, Science Direct, Scopus, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library). Papers on pharmacological management of postoperative pain for patients undergoing LC were considered eligible. All meta-analyses, with or without a systematic search, were included in our review. The researchers read the study titles and abstracts to identify relevant articles and appraise the full-text manuscripts. Of 145 papers, the full-text of 11 articles, which met the inclusion criteria, was studied. Information, including the authors’ names, publication data, type of review, patients’ characteristics, interventions, outcomes, sample size, pooled effect size, publication bias, and statistical and methodological heterogeneity, was extracted. The collected data were presented descriptively, without further statistical analysis.Results and Conclusions:Very low to low–quality evidence indicated that pharmacological agents, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, lidocaine, parecoxib, nefopam, dexamethasone, and magnesium sulfate, could decrease pain intensity in patients undergoing LC. Moreover, moderate to high–quality evidence showed that intravenous infusion of ketamine and opioids, as well as pregabalin, was effective in pain control. Further, robust clinical trials are needed with several arms (eg, pharmacological agents) to compare the efficacy and safety of analgesics under similar clinical conditions and to find optimal regimens for pain management in patients undergoing LC.

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