Prevention and Treatment of Postoperative Pain with Particular Reference to Children

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Abstract

Pain therapy is an important aspect of medical practice for patients of all ages, to optimize care, to obtain an adequate quality of life and to improve their general conditions. Pain is among the most prevalent symptoms experienced by patients undergoing surgery. The success of postoperative pain therapy depends on the ability of the clinician to assess the presenting problems, identify and evaluate pain syndromes and formulate a plan for comprehensive continuing care. The prevalence of acute pain has led to the need to develop techniques for the assessment and management of this symptom in order to focus the attention on an interdisciplinary therapeutic approach (including pharmacologic, cognitivebehavioral, psychologic and physical treatment) and on the timing of different interventions (pre and postoperative). In this chapter we describe the principal therapeutic approaches to control pain in post-operative patients, such as non-opioid, opioid and adjuvant analgesics with particular attention in paediatric age. Moreover we report the principal scales to assess the pain intensity in the post-operative period. The need of a multidisciplinatory team and of a pre and postoperative pain management program represents an important goal in order to obtain effective pain relief and optimize pediatric care and rapid recovery. The introduction of a perioperative team service will improve the approach to pain management programs and it is considered the most important challenge for future.