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Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2007 Mar;21(1):129-48.

Postoperative pain treatment for ambulatory surgery.

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Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Orebro University Hospital, SE-701 85 Orebro, Sweden.


One of the most significant changes in surgical practice during the last two decades has been the growth of ambulatory surgery. Adequate postoperative analgesia is a prerequisite for successful ambulatory surgery. Recent studies have shown that large numbers of patients suffer from moderate to severe pain during the first 24-48 hr. The success of fast-tracking depends to a considerable extent on effective postoperative pain management routines and the cost saving of outpatient surgery may be negated by unanticipated hospital admission for poorly treated pain. Depending on the intensity of postoperative pain current management includes the use of analgesics such as paracetamol, NSAIDs including coxibs and tramadol as single drugs or in combination as part of balanced (multimodal) analgesia. However, in the ambulatory setting many patients suffer from pain at home in spite of multimodal analgesic regimens. Sending patients home with perineural, incisional, and intra-articular catheters is a new and evolving area of postoperative pain management. Current evidence suggests that these techniques are effective, feasible and safe in the home environment if appropriate patient selection routines and organization for follow-up are in place.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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