Aim: Adequate postoperative analgesia is a prerequisite for successful ambulatory surgery and continues to be a challenge for anesthesiologists. The goal of the study was to analyze what are determinants of patients' overall satisfaction in postoperative pain management after ambulatory hand surgery.
Methods: Patients undergoing ambulatory hand surgery received oral fixed association tramadol/acetaminophen 37.5/325 mg every 6 hours during the first 48 hours after operation. Analgesic efficacy was evaluated by self-assessment of pain intensity by numeric rating scale. Patients also recorded total number of daily study analgesic tablets, frequency and severity of adverse events, sleep pain interference (SPI 0-10), number of rescue doses and patient global assessment (PGA) on a 4-grade scale. Success ratings on the PGA were considered "good" and "excellent". Preoperative pain intensity, analgesic use, and expectation were also recorded.
Results: One hundred and forty-three subjects were evaluated in the study. The percentage of patients who reported rating of success on the PGA was 88.8%. The most significant determinant of failure on the PGA was the presence of moderate to severe adverse events (R=-0.85). Determinants of ratings of success on PGA were adequate analgesia and SPI ≤ 4. Predictors of successful patient satisfaction were preoperative pain ≤ 4 on NRS, lack of preoperative analgesic consumption, expected pain >6 on NRS, and lower education level. Weak correlation (R=0.26) was observed between mean daily pain intensity and analgesics intake.
Conclusion: Results indicate that the oral association tramadol/acetaminophen 37,5/325 mg is effective for the management of postoperative pain after ambulatory hand surgery. The lack of adverse events is the most important determinant of patient satisfaction, followed by the analgesic efficacy.