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Postoperative pain management following aesthetic plastic surgery traditionally has been achieved by systemic administration of several narcotic pain medications. Because this method can lead to undesirable side effects such as sedation, nausea, vomiting, and respiratory depression, a more efficacious method of postoperative analgesia with fewer side effects needs to be implemented in outpatient cosmetic surgery.
From March of 2003 until December of 2008, 690 patients underwent augmentation mammaplasty and 215 patients underwent abdominoplasty. All of these patients were equipped with an elastomeric continuous infusion pump postoperatively and were prescribed oral narcotics. Prior to 2003, patients were prescribed only oral narcotics postoperatively. A retrospective chart review of patients before and after implementation of the pain pump was undertaken to review the perceived pain patients experienced postoperatively with and without the pump. The self-administration of oral narcotics was also assessed.
Patients equipped with the pain pump experienced a statistically significant decrease in perceived pain compared to those without the pump (augmentation mammaplasty: 2.27 vs. 3.68, p < 0.05; abdominoplasty: 2.81 vs. 4.32, p < 0.05). Similarly, patients with the pump saw a statistically significant decrease in the use of the oral narcotic Vicodin™ at 72 h postoperatively (5 mg hydrocodone/500 mg acetaminophen, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL) (augmentation mammaplasty: 26.5 mg/2650 mg vs. 49 mg/4900 mg, p < 0.01; abdominoplasty: 29.5 mg/2950 mg vs. 56.5 mg/5650 mg, p < 0.01).
The utilization of a continuous-infusion pain pump following augmentation mammaplasty or abdominoplasty is an efficacious method to significantly reduce both the amount of pain patients experience and the quantity of narcotics used postoperatively.
The Zwiebel Center for Plastic Surgery and Skincare, 206 West County Line Road, Suite 210, Littleton, CO, 80129, USA.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Aesthetic plastic surgery
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Pain during the period after surgery.
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