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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2019 Apr 9. doi: 10.1111/aas.13370. [Epub ahead of print]

Chronic post-surgical pain after colon surgery in patients included in an enhanced recovery program.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Saint-Luc University Hospital, Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Brussels, Belgium.
Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medecine, University of Liege Hospital (ULg CHU), Liege, Belgium.
Department of Abdominal Surgery and Transplantation, Colorectal Surgery Unit, Saint-Luc University Hospital, Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Brussels, Belgium.



Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) program improves immediate recovery. Beyond immediate benefits, long-term impact of ERAS implementation is not yet evident. This retrospective single-center cohort study investigates prevalence and characteristics of chronic post-surgical pain (CPSP) in patients who underwent colon surgery.


Two hundred and ninety-seven patients enrolled prospectively in our ERAS database were contacted by mail to question the presence of CPSP. In case of CPSP, intensity, location, and type of pain, impact of pain on quality of life and treatment taken were assessed. Post-operative pain experience during hospital stay, recall of pain, and discomfort duration when back home were assessed in all patients. Comparison between patients with and without CPSP was made to approach the risk factors of CPSP in this population.


At 27 months after colon surgery, 25/198 patients reported CPSP (12.6%) and pain was severe in 5 patients (2.5%). CPSP had a deep abdominal component in 56% of patients and a parietal component in 20% of patients. Patients with CPSP+ differed from patients CPSP- for pre-operative pain presence (56% vs 24.8%, P = 0.004), recalled post-operative pain intensity (4 vs 3, P = 0.045), duration of discomfort after discharge (2 vs 1 weeks, P = 0.035). Pre-operative pain was found as a significant CPSP risk factor (odds ratio 1.34; 95% CI: 1.05-1.70).


CPSP prevalence after laparoscopic colon surgery seems not much affected by ERAS context. Pre-operative presence of pain emerged as an important risk factor. These findings should be confirmed in a prospective multicenter study.


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