Postthoracotomy pain management problems

Anesthesiol Clin. 2008 Jun;26(2):355-67, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.anclin.2008.01.007.


Pain after thoracotomy is very severe, probably the most severe pain experienced after surgery. Thoracic epidural analgesia has greatly improved the pain experience and its consequences and has been considered the standard for pain management after thoracotomy. This view has been challenged recently by the use of paravertebral nerve blocks. Nevertheless, severe ipsilateral shoulder pain and the prevention of the postthoracotomy pain syndrome remain the most important challenges for management of postthoracotomy pain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Pain, Postoperative / epidemiology
  • Thoracotomy*