Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Penn Researchers Strike Post-Surgical Pain Before It Starts With Preemptive Medication

Date:
April 9, 1998
Source:
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Summary:
Post-operative pain can be vastly decreased by beginning pain treatment before surgery. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center have found that preemptive analgesia -- delivering pain medication to patients before surgery -- results in significant pain reduction long afterward.

(Philadelphia, PA) -- Post-operative pain can be vastly decreased by beginning pain treatment before surgery. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center have found that preemptive analgesia -- delivering pain medication to patients before surgery -- results in significant pain reduction long afterward. This confirms preliminary findings presented at the 1996 American Society of Anesthesiologists' annual meeting. The complete study appears in the April 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The rationale behind the use of preemptive analgesia is to stop pain from starting by blocking the nervous system's usual response to pain. The trauma from a surgical incision may cause the nerves in the spinal cord to "wind up" which leads to heightened sensitivity and enduring pain after surgery. Allan Gottschalk, MD, PhD, principal investigator and assistant professor of anesthesia, explains, "With preemptive analgesia we can prevent the sensitizing reaction to the surgical incision, thereby reducing post-surgical pain in the hospital and well after the patient returns home."

Dr. Gottschalk and his team of researchers studied 90 men scheduled for radical prostatectomies, the complete removal of the prostate gland for the treatment of prostate cancer. They divided the men into three groups: patients receiving a preemptive epidural narcotic or a local anesthetic prior to surgery and a group who did not receive any analgesia before surgery. All patients were given a standard general anesthetic and aggressive post-operative epidural analgesia.

Despite aggressive post-operative pain management for all patients, those who received preemptive analgesia reported thirty-three percent (33%) less pain throughout their hospitalization than those who did not receive pain medication before surgery. Telephone surveys conducted approximately three, five, and nine weeks after discharge revealed that eighty-six percent (86%) of the preemptive analgesia group were pain-free at nine weeks compared to forty-seven percent (47%) of the patients who received none. Moreover, those who were given preemptive pain killers were more active three and a half weeks after surgery.

Traditionally, post-operative pain is treated by administering analgesics after surgery has been performed. "Preemptive analgesia allows us to intervene early," says David S. Smith, MD, PhD, co-principal investigator and associate professor of anesthesia. "Instead of taking a reactive approach, we can take preventive measures against pain before surgery starts."

"The use of preemptive analgesia has resulted in major improvements in patient recovery and long-term reduction of pain after surgery," according to Dr. Gottschalk. "This adds to a number of recent studies which clearly demonstrate that what anesthesiologists do on the day of surgery can have an important impact on patients' lives long after they leave the operating room."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. "Penn Researchers Strike Post-Surgical Pain Before It Starts With Preemptive Medication." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980409081031.htm>.
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. (1998, April 9). Penn Researchers Strike Post-Surgical Pain Before It Starts With Preemptive Medication. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980409081031.htm
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. "Penn Researchers Strike Post-Surgical Pain Before It Starts With Preemptive Medication." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980409081031.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins