Part of the work of an anesthesiologist at a research and teaching hospital is to study the effects of various treatments to determine best practices in a field, given the latest medications and technologies available. Recent research shows that certain practices in anesthesiology can help reduce post-operative pain and decrease the amount of time patients remain in the hospital following certain operations. Those practices include:
– Taking a multimodal approach to analgesia. Administering anesthetics and pain medication in more than one class in order to block multiple types of pain receptors in patients has been linked with better overall outcomes. In studies, multimodal analgesia during surgery led to less intense pain following surgery.
– Administering analgesics prior to beginning surgery. Rather than beginning patient-controlled pain medication following surgery, administering such treatment before surgery led to lower overall consumption of opiates and lower rates of side effects (including nausea) associated with such drugs. Participation in rehabilitation programs also proved higher in the preemptive group.
About John Gerancher:
During his time as Section Head of Wake Forest University’s Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Management Section, John Gerancher developed processes to improve patient outcomes, including computer software systems to guide the implementation of multimodal analgesia.