Study: pediatric patients experience persistent postsurgical pain after ambulatory surgery — 5 insights

Over 20 percent of pediatric patients have persistent postsurgical pain after major surgeries. A study in Pediatric Anesthesia found persistent pain among children undergoing common ambulatory surgeries.

Here are five things to know:

1. The study aimed to evaluate persistent pain prevalence after pediatric ambulatory surgery at one-, three- and six-month intervals. The study also tried to identify risk factors and consequences of persistent postsurgical pain.

2. About 350 patients aged one month to 16 years old undergoing elective hypospadias repair, herniorrhaphy, orchiopexy and orthopedic surgery were enrolled in a prospective, longitudinal, observational study at three Italian pediatric centers.

3. All patients received general and regional anesthesia; postoperative pain was evaluated at age-appropriate pain scales at one and three hours. At one, three, and six months, pain scores were obtained and Parent's Postoperative Pain Measures (for children under the age of eight) and Child Activity Limitations Interview (for children over eight) surveys were administered.

4. The presence of pain at one, three and six months was 24 percent, 6 percent and 4 percent respectively. Inguinal herniorrhaphy patients experienced significantly higher pain at all three increments: 35.6 percent, 14.9 percent and 9.2 percent.

5. Pain persisting at six months frequently interfered with daily life and sleep and had neuropathic characteristics. The authors recommend a follow-up visit about persistent pain and functional impairment until the issue resolves.

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