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The Postoperative Period 

The Postoperative Period
Chapter:
The Postoperative Period
Author(s):

Kenneth N. Hiller

, Esi M. Rhett

, and George W. Williams

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199381623.003.0019
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date: 22 August 2019

The postoperative period also known as the recovery period can be a potential source of a multiplicity of complications. It is during this unique time that the patient and the patient’s family becomes aware of issues that may have started in the operating room and are now evident or new concerns in the post anesthesia care unit (PACU). The patient may have an uneventful recovery and be discharged from the PACU. However, there are many issues such as pain, nausea, vomiting, and hypoxia that may arise and must be addressed. There are multiple modalities for providing postoperative pain relief. This brief review focuses on basic pharmacologic principles and presents clinical applications of specific analgesic drugs. It further discusses alternative pain therapies. Overall management of postoperative nausea and vomiting is reviewed along with other postoperative complications and their management. The different classes of medications are discussed in detail along with risk assessment, prediction of clinical efficacy, and indications.

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