Treatment of Chronic Pain After Surgery – a Highlighted Report at the 2023 Obstetric Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Conference

On 7th October, 2023, the 2023 Obstetric Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Conference was jointly organised by Tu Du Hospital and the Ho Chi Minh City Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care. Dr Ly Quoc Thinh, Specialist Level II, Head of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care & Pain Control Department, FV Hospital, participated in presenting a report at the conference.

With 14 reports and the participation of over 400 invited guests, including physicians and experts in the fields of anaesthesia and obstetrics, the conference provided new scientific knowledge and practical experience in healthcare, particularly for pregnant and obstetric patients. Dr Thinh’s presentation on the topic “Chronic Pain after Surgery” offered insights into postoperative care for many patients.

Chronic pain after surgery is characterised as prolonged and persistent pain following an operation. If the pain existed before the surgery, it must be confirmed as having distinct characteristics, intensifying, and lasting for more than three months. In addition, other causes of pain such as recurrent cancer or infection must be ruled out to make an accurate diagnosis.

Dr Thinh shares that while general postoperative pain management has received significant attention and is continuously improving, the treatment of chronic postoperative pain still lacks adequate attention. “This significantly affects the quality of life for patients and unintentionally places pressure on surgeons when they feel they have not successfully performed the operation,” explains Dr Thinh.

Dr Ly Quoc Thinh, Specialist Level II, Head of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care & Pain Control Department, FV Hospital, presents at the conference.

In Vietnam currently, there is no specific data available regarding the situation of chronic pain in postoperative patients. Moreover, healthcare providers tend to focus more on treating acute pain. Therefore, through this report, Dr Thinh also hopes that his colleagues and patients will pay more attention to this issue, particularly in identifying high-risk patients and establishing pain management methods before, during, and after surgery.

Pain management for patients even after they have been discharged from the hospital can help limit and provide timely treatment, preventing the transition to chronic pain. Early treatment can assist patients in reducing functional limitations, minimising psychological impact, and ultimately reducing the costs of healthcare and the burden of medical care.

Looking toward the future, Dr Thinh shared, “We are preparing to establish a unit to manage and treat pain for postoperative patients or high-risk groups that may develop chronic pain.” For many years, with active collaboration from the Pain Clinic, patients who are being treated in various specialties at FV Hospital, such as Obstetrics & Gynaecology, General Surgery, and Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation, have received timely support when experiencing postoperative pain.

Dr Ly Quoc Thinh, Specialist Level II, takes a commemorative photo with other experts.

In addition to establishing a comprehensive process for post-operative pain management, collecting high-quality data for research in the field of pain management is also a priority for FV Hospital. With its strengths in multiple specialties and being a pioneer in pain treatment, FV aims to contribute insights and develop new treatment methods through conferences, ultimately delivering more effective treatments and improving the quality of life for patients.

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