American Pain Society Releases New Guidelines on Postoperative Pain

Care plan should be tailored to the individual and type of surgical procedure involved.

HealthDay News — The American Pain Society has issued recommendations on the management of postoperative pain. The clinical practice guideline was published in the February issue of the Journal of Pain.

Roger Chou, MD, of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and colleagues, with input from the American Society of Anesthesiologists, convened a multidisciplinary expert panel to develop a clinical practice guideline for evidence-based, effective, and safer management of postoperative pain in children and adults. The guideline also was reviewed and approved by the American Society for Regional Anesthesia.

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The authors conducted a systematic review of the evidence and formulated 32 recommendations for various aspects of postoperative pain management, including preoperative education, perioperative pain management planning, use of different pharmacological and nonpharmacological modalities, organizational policies, and transition to outpatient care. 

Proper management of postoperative pain begins with an assessment of the patient in the preoperative period and development of a care plan specific to the individual and the surgical procedure involved. 

For many situations, evidence supports the use of multimodal regimens for pain management.

“Safe and effective postoperative pain management should be on the basis of a plan of care tailored to the individual and the surgical procedure involved, and multimodal regimens are recommended in many situations,” the authors wrote.


Chou R, Gordon D, de Leon-Casasola O, et al. Management of Postoperative Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American Pain Society, the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Committee on Regional Anesthesia, Executive Committee, and Administrative Council. J Pain. 2016;17(2):131-157. doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2015.12.008.