Archive Megatrends 2018

Can We Eliminate Post-Op Pain?

Tailoring analgesic efforts to individual patients and developing techniques and technologies hold promise for a less painful future.

Brielle Gregory

Brielle Gregory, Associate Editor


PROACTIVE PROPONENT Ed Mariano, MD, MAS, believes exploring the genetic causes of pain will lead to the development of more proactive and effective approaches to post-op analgesia.

Post-surgical pain will never go away, but new targeted analgesic approaches will transform how you'll treat it in the coming years — and could go a long way toward reducing its severity. From targeting specific pain receptors with ultrasound-guided nerve blocks to freezing nerves with cryoanalgesia, a more tailored approach to post-op pain management is on the horizon.

"Pain is moving more and more toward precision," says Ed Mariano, MD, MAS, chief of anesthesiology and perioperative care at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto (Calif.) Health Care System. "When you view the pain experience as individualized, you'll pick the therapy that best matches the patient experience."

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