HYPOTHESIS AND OBJECTIVES. A high level of pain has been observed among surgical patients and it has been suggested that surgical specialty may be an important factor in pain, although no relation has been conclusively demonstrated. In this study we compared the characteristics of postoperative pain and pain treatment given in several surgical services. PATIENTS AND METHODS. We studied 249 patients in orthopedic surgery and traumatology (OST, n = 95), general surgery (GS, n = 66), gynecology and obstetrics (GO, n = 51), urology (URO, n = 16), vascular surgery (VS, n = 9), ophthalmology (OPH, n = 7), otorhinolaryngology (ORL, n = 5). The characteristics of analgesic treatment (type of prescription, drug, route, dose and compliance) were recorded, as were degree of pain expressed on a visual analog scale and a verbal assessment scale 24 h after surgery, and level of patient satisfaction with the analgesic treatment. RESULTS. Thirty percent of the patients reported moderate to unbearable pain the day after surgery. Severe pain was most common in OST patients. Analgesics, mainly diclofenac (52%) and pethidine (36%), were prescribed by protocol for 93% of patients. Although there were differences among the various services, compliance with diclofenac prescription was better; compliance was high among GO patients for both drugs. Over half the patients reported having had severe or unbearable pain during the hours following surgery. Most said relief was sufficient or high (55%) with treatment and described themselves as satisfied or very satisfied (62%) with the analgesic received. Surgery on extremities was the most painful and generated the greatest dissatisfaction. CONCLUSIONS. This study suggests that type of surgery may condition the prevalence of and severity of postoperative pain. Although type of surgery and location are important factors, there are sufficient differences and deficiencies in treatment to explain, at least partly, the variation observed.
|Journal||Revista Espanola de Anestesiologia y Reanimacion|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Jul 1996|
- Analgesia: postoperative
- Pain: postoperative