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Rev Bras Cir Cardiovasc. 2009 Oct-Dec;24(4):490-6.

Does the pain disturb the respiratory function after open heart surgery?

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, UNICAMP, Brasil.



The post operative pain after open heart surgeries had been often reported. Meager reports about respiratory function and pain correlation had been reported. The aim of this article is to assess the pain intensity and location during hospital admittance and its effect on pulmonary function in patients underwent elective cardiac surgery.


Pulmonary function (lung volumes, respiratory pressures and peak expiratory flow) was assessed at the preoperative and post-operative time (1, 3 and 5 days) by ventilometer, manovacuometer and peak flow meter measurements. The assessment of pain intensity was carried out with a visual analogue scale for pain.


The majority of pain site was on sternotomy incision (50% of patients) and the intensity was higher at the first postoperative day (8.32 by visual scale measurement). All pulmonary variables decreased on post-operative time when compared to baseline values. All respiratory variables remained lower than to pre-operative time at fifth postoperative time (P > 0.05), with exception for respiratory rate. The pain and maximal inspiratory pressure showed a negative correlation at the first postoperative day (P = 0.019).


Postoperative pain decreased lung function in patients precluding deep inspirations, in special, at the first post-operative day.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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