Prevalence of chronic pain after pulmonary resection by thoracotomy or video-assisted thoracic surgery

Rodney J. Landreneau, Michael J. Mack, Stephen R. Hazelrigg, Keith Naunheim, Robert D. Dowling, Pamela Ritter, Mitchell J. Magee, Susan Nunchuck, Robert J. Keenan, Peter F. Ferson

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Abstract

The prevalence and severity of chronic pain after video-assisted thoracic surgery for pulmonary resection remains to be defined. Three hundred forty-three of 391 consecutive patients 3 to 31 months after pulmonary resection by lateral thoracotomy (n =165) or video-assisted thoracic surgery (n =178) responded to a questionnaire aimed at comparing the relative occurrence of chronic postoperative pain after video-assisted thoracic surgery and lateral thoracotomy approaches for pulmonary resection. Patients less than 1 year after operation (video-assisted thoracic surgery =142; thoracotomy = 97) and more than 1 year after operation (video-assisted thoracic surgery = 36; thoracotomy = 68) were analyzed as individual cohorts. Chronic pain was assessed by questioning patients about the presence and the intensity of discomfort on the side of the operation (using a visual analog scale) and their need for analgesic medication and the presence of ongoing limitations in shoulder function. Patients who underwent video-assisted thoracic surgery (less than 1 year from operation) had less pain and subjective shoulder dysfunction although their pain medication requirements were similar to those of thoracotomy patients less than 1 year from operation. After 1 year, there was no significant difference in these “pain related” morbidity parameters between the two surgical approach groups (video-assisted thoracic surgery or thoracotomy).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1079-1086
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Volume107
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

Landreneau, R. J., Mack, M. J., Hazelrigg, S. R., Naunheim, K., Dowling, R. D., Ritter, P., Magee, M. J., Nunchuck, S., Keenan, R. J., & Ferson, P. F. (1994). Prevalence of chronic pain after pulmonary resection by thoracotomy or video-assisted thoracic surgery. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 107(4), 1079-1086. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5223(94)70384-1