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Postoperative Pain, Analgesic Choices, and Ileus: A Snapshot from a Teaching Hospital in a Developing Country

Surg J (N Y). 2022 Sep 2;8(3):e232-e238. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-1755623. eCollection 2022 Jul.


Background Pain relief can be achieved by diversity of methods with analgesics being the basic form of treatment. Analgesic safety and clinical effectiveness are the core factors in determining the analgesic of choice. One adverse effect of concern with opioids is the postoperative ileus (POI). Objective In this study, we looked at the severity of postoperative pain, the type of analgesics used to control the pain, and the incidence of POI at Baghdad Teaching Hospital. We hypothesized that we would find an association between the type of analgesia used and POI. Methods This observational study was conducted among 100 patients who were residents at the general surgery wards of Baghdad Teaching Hospital. A structured questionnaire was employed focusing on types of analgesics, degree of pain control, and the presence of ileus. Results Sixty-nine percent of patients received a combination of opioids and nonopioids. Moderate-to-severe pain was the most commonly reported category on pain scales. More than half of the patients (57%) were found to have POI during their hospital stay and there was a statistically significant association between the type of analgesia and POI development ( p =0.001). Conclusions A mix of analgesics (opioids and nonopioids) was the most common regimen at our center. The majority of the surgical inpatients reported having moderate-to-severe pain on both pain scales used in this study. Ileus incidence following abdominal surgeries (61%) was significantly higher than the reported incidence worldwide (10-30%). Postoperative ileus has multifactorial causes, one of which is the use of opioids for pain control. Considering the high incidence of ileus in our center and the association we found between the use of opioids and ileus, further studies should look at the doses of opioids used and whether alternative analgesic methods might result in less ileus.

PMID:36062183 | PMC:PMC9439878 | DOI:10.1055/s-0042-1755623

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