Postoperative Pain in the Opioid Tolerant Patient

Since the patient has had surgery that likely has increased or added to their pain, opioid use can be expected to be higher than just replacement of what they were on before coming in to the hospital and it can be significantly higher than in opioid-na'ive patients. More pain complaints and higher pain scores should be expected. Discussion of reasonable goals and expectations of analgesic therapy with the patient is crucial. These patients usually know what agents have either worked or not worked for them in the past. The use of multimodal therapy in this patient population is especially important.

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