Seongtae Jeong ; Ju-Tae Sohn ; Myung Ha Yoon ; Seung Ho Choi
Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Vol.6(4) : 362~367, 2011
Anesthesia and Pain Medicine
BACKGROUND: There is increasing evidence that more aggressive pain management is needed in patients undergoing craniotomy in Korea. However, no consensus or standardized analgesic regimen has been established to date. To achieve this consensus, we undertook a survey of the current state of post-craniotomy pain management in Korea. METHODS: A postal questionnaire was sent to anesthesiologists, neurosurgeons and nurses of neurosurgical departments at 44 university hospitals in Korea. Of the 44 centers that were sent questionnaires, 35 centers returned these from their anesthesiology department resulting in a response rate of 73%, and 25 returned the questionnaires from their neurosurgery department (response rate: 57%). RESULTS: Fifty-three percent of neurosurgeons answered that current postoperative pain management was adequate after craniotomy, whereas only 8% of anesthesiologists agreed. However, 72% of neurosurgeons also agreed that a more aggressive pain management was needed for post-craniotomy patients. Fifty-two percent and 23% of neurosurgeons used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen as a first-line analgesic, respectively. Twenty-five percent of neurosurgeons used opioids as a first-line analgesic. Fifty percent of anesthesiologists used strong opioids alone or with NSAIDs as a first-line analgesic. About 10% of both groups used weak opioids as a first-line drug. CONCLUSIONS: Many clinicians agree that post-craniotomy pain is not adequately managed and more aggressive strategies are needed. Nevertheless, opioid analgesics are still avoided because of the concern of side effects despite no evidence to suggest increased risk when use carefully.