FEB 06, 2014 01:00 PM PST

Perioperative analgesia

  • Professor, Anesthesiologist, University Complutense, Spain
      Ignacio Alvarez Gomez de Segura teaches and practices anaesthesiology since 2005 at the Veterinary School of Complutense University of Madrid (Spain), where he graduated in 1986. He holds the ECVAA and ECLAM diplomate status. Previously he worked as head of the Animal Facility at the Experimental Surgery Department of of the (human) Hospital La Paz, also in Madrid (1988-2005).


    perioperative analgesia aims to minimize, or even eliminate pain during a surgical procedure. Currently this approach is rarely performed using a single analgesic drug and more commonly different types of analgesic drugs, such as opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are combined. This approach is known as multimodal or polymodal analgesia and also includes other analgesic drugs and techniques such as alpha-2 adrenergic receptor agonists, ketamine, or loco-regional analgesic techniques. Another approach is the anticipation to perioperative pain by administering analgesic drugs before surgical injury occurs and thus preventing the animal suffering from pain. This approach is known as preemptive analgesia and may reduce pain not only intraoperatively but also postoperatively. Other relevant aspects include the expected pain intensity, which allows us to select the appropriate drugs or drug combinations. The duration of analgesic therapy should also conform to the expected duration of pain so as to provide the necessary coverage postoperatively. Fortunately, there are on the market analgesic formulations with an effect typically lasting 24 hours with some of them providing analgesia up to 4 days following a single drug administration. Despite these advances, a good postoperative analgesia can only be obtained with an appropriate pain assessment system that would allow changes to the analgesic regimen in order to limit or prevent pain effectively.

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