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Chronic pain after cardiothoracic surgery 

Chronic pain after cardiothoracic surgery
Chronic pain after cardiothoracic surgery

Lesley Colvin

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date: 20 September 2020

Chronic pain postsurgical pain (CPSP).after cardiac and thoracic surgery can be a significant problem, but the underlying aetiology is not fully understood. Changes in both peripheral and central nervous system can occur, with subsequent development of neuropathic pain.Identification of modifiable risk factors allows targeting in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of CPSP developing after cardiothoracic procedures. There are a number of treatment options for established CPSP after cardiothoracic surgery, although success may be limited. Pharmacological strategies include the use of specific antineuropathic agents with some evidence for the efficacy of combination therapies. If there is a well-defined area of postsurgical scar pain, then this may be very amenable to topical therapies. Simple therapies such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can be effective and multidisciplinary pain management is appropriate.

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