New Advances in Acute Postoperative Pain Management

  • Sukanya Mitra
  • Daniel Carlyle
  • Gopal Kodumudi
  • Vijay Kodumudi
  • Nalini Vadivelu
Other Pain (A Kaye and N Vadivelu, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Other Pain


Purpose of Review

Postoperative pain remains one of the most common challenges following inpatient and outpatient surgeries. With our advances in modern medicine, pain following surgical procedures still remains a challenge, though significant accomplishments have been made over the past few decades. This article highlights some of the promising new advances and approaches in postoperative pain management.

Recent Findings

Over the last decade, Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) pathways and protocols are becoming the benchmark standards for enhancing postoperative recovery. Multimodal analgesia (MMA) is an essential component of such care. Further, in the wake of serious and persistent concern on the opioid epidemic in the USA, there has been a recent renewal of interest in non-opioid alternatives or adjuncts in controlling postoperative pain, often in the context of MMA. Intravenous (IV) acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), magnesium, ketamine, dexmedetomidine, liposomal bupivacaine, and newer neuraxial and peripheral regional techniques as well as patient-controlled modalities are gaining importance. Gabapentinoids have become popular but recent meta-analytic reviews have cast doubt on their routine use in perioperative settings. Among opioids, sublingual sufentanil, IV oxycodone, and iontophoretic transdermal fentanyl hold promise. Acupuncture and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation may be useful as adjuncts in MMA packages. Genetic testing, derivatives of herbal preparations, and an extended role of acute pain services may emerge as potential areas of importance in the future. There are, however, critical gaps in good quality evidence in many of the practice guideline recommendations.


In the era of opioid epidemic, several lines of evidence have emerged to support non-opioid-based drugs and approaches along with a few newer opioid formulations for postoperative pain management, although more research is needed to find the right balance of efficacy and safety.


Pain Postoperative Advances ERAS Management 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Sukanya Mitra, Daniel Carlyle, Gopal Kodumudi, Vijay Kodumudi, and Nalini Vadivelu declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sukanya Mitra
    • 1
  • Daniel Carlyle
    • 2
  • Gopal Kodumudi
    • 3
  • Vijay Kodumudi
    • 4
  • Nalini Vadivelu
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive CareGovernment Medical College and HospitalChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Department of AnesthesiologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.California Northstate University College of MedicineElk GroveUSA
  4. 4.University of Connecticut School of MedicineFarmingtonUSA

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