Prevalence of persistent post-surgical pain in a tertiary care hospital of a developing country: A cross sectional survey

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Background: Persistent post-surgical pain (PPP) is pain that lasts three months or more after a surgi[1]cal procedure. Research has shown significant prevalence of PPP after many surgical procedures. However, little is known of its prevalence in Southeast Asian region.
Objective: To assess the prevalence and characteristics of PPP after total knee replacement (TKR) and total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) at our tertiary care university hospital. Methods: Approval for this cross-sectional survey was granted by the Ethics Review Committee. In[1]formed consent was obtained from patients scheduled for elective surgery. A designated pain nurse called the patient three months and one year after surgery and filled out a questionnaire.
Results: 201 patients were included, 119 (59.2%) after TAH, and 82 (40.8%) after TKR. Three months after surgery 28 (13.9%) patients reported pain, 15 post-TAH (12.6%) and 13 (15.8%) following TKR. Twenty (71.4%) complained of pain at the operative site, while 8 (28.6%) had pain in the surrounding area. Twenty-five patients had burning and throbbing pain while 3 patients reported stabbing pain. Average pain score was 2.63 ± 0.87. At one year, five (17.9%) patients reported pain with a score of 3 to 6. Two of these patients (1.7%) had undergone TAH, while three (3.7%) had TKR.
Conclusions: PPP was found in 12.6% of patients after TAH and 15.8% after TKR at three months and in 1.7% after TAH and 3.7% after TKR at one year. Thus, prevalence of PPP in our tertiary care hospi[1]tal was found to be lower than that reported in the literature from other centres. Future multi[1]central research is recommended to get a more holistic picture about the prevalence and to probe the reasons for difference in prevalence observed in our study.


Anesthesia & Analgesia