Narrative review of acute post-craniotomy pain. Concept and strategies for prevention and treatment of pain
F Iturri 1 , L Valencia 2 , C Honorato 3 , A Martínez 3 , R Valero 4 , N Fàbregas 4 , Sección de Neurociencia de la Sociedad Española de Anestesiología y Reanimación
The aim of this narrative review is to confirm that acute pain after craniotomy is frequent and presents with moderate to severe intensity.
We also highlight the importance of not only treating post-craniotomy pain, but also of preventing it in order to reduce the incidence of chronic pain. Physicians should be aware that conventional postoperative analgesics (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, paracetamol, cyclooxygenase inhibitors 2, opioids) are not the only options available.
Performing a scalp block prior to surgical incision or after surgery, the use of intraoperative dexmedetomidine, and the perioperative administration of pregabalin are just some alternatives that are gaining ground.
The management of post-craniotomy pain should be based on perioperative multimodal analgesia in the framework of an "enhaced recovery after surgery" (ERAS) approach.