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Poststernotomy/ Thoracotomy Pain

Home Poststernotomy/ Thoracotomy Pain

Poststernotomy Pain:

Where open heart surgery is done so commonly, Poststernotomy syndromes are equal in incidence. Not all patients develop the Poststernotomy chronic pain syndrome, but a large group of patients express their inability to perceive normal sensation following the surgery.

This pain appears to be a kind of deafferentation pain. Many people get adapted over course of time to pain. The pain which they develop could be because of overzealous stretching of chest wall.

Pain Management:

  • Treatment
    • Pharmacological methods
    • Interventional
      • Sympathetic blockade
      • Neurolytic block

Thoracotomy Pain:

The common post surgical pain encountered in the thorax is Postthoracotomy pain. This happens because of injury or division of nerve root in corresponding intercostals space. Sometimes nerve gets entrapped in surgical scar and creates a nagging problem. Whenever the nerve is damaged, sprouting of the injured nerve occurs.

Tenderness in the scar is the clue of the neuroma formation. Altered sensation or loss of sensation suggests deafferentation pain.

Pain Management:

  • Treatment
    • Conservative methods
    • Pharmacological methods
    • Interventional
      • Sympathetic segment block

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