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Gynecol Oncol. 1994 Jan;52(1):44-9.

Who finds cervical laser therapy painful?

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Colposcopy Clinic, St. James's University Hospital, Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom.


To identify women who find outpatient laser cervical surgery painful we designed a prospective observational study correlating surgical pain with multiple variables. The pain scoring systems were validated by comparing the subjective linear analogue score with an objective scoring method. The pain of surgery was compared with age, parity, acute anxiety scores, psychological state, premenstrual syndrome scores, phase of the menstrual cycle, contraceptive use, menstrual history, nature of the lesion, and intraoperative bleeding. Anxious women with no children suffered most. Nulliparity, acute preoperative anxiety, and a history of dysmenorrhea independently predict high pain scores. Young women and those using the combined oral contraceptive pill also find laser surgery more painful but this is because they are less likely to have delivered children and more likely to suffer from dysmenorrhea. Psychological state, premenstrual syndrome score, phase of the menstrual cycle, type of surgery, and perioperative bleeding have no predictive value. We suggest that nulliparous women and dysmenorrhea sufferers who are anxious about outpatient surgery but ambivalent about hospital admission should be offered cervical surgery under general anesthesia. Parous women who do not suffer from dysmenorrhea can be reassured that outpatient laser treatment should be tolerable.

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