Postsurgical Pain Syndromes

As stated earlier, there are several different types of pain syndromes which may develop after surgery. Most studies of chronic pain after surgery focus on patient cohorts undergoing one surgical procedure, such as mastectomy or chest surgery, rather than assessment of large, diverse surgical populations. In this chapter, it is not possible to review all the literature on postsurgical conditions. We will review the pain syndromes associated with three types of surgery, amputation, hernia surgery, and breast surgery. These are the three areas that have received the most attention and in which there are sufficient good quality publications to draw valid conclusions. The review articles mentioned in the Introduction above cover pain syndromes after some other types of surgery, but it has to be emphasized that for many types of surgery there is little or no published evidence and often the studies are of poor quality.

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