Pain Management in Plastic Surgery

Clin Plast Surg. 2020 Apr;47(2):191-201. doi: 10.1016/j.cps.2019.12.001. Epub 2020 Feb 1.


Poorly controlled postoperative pain is associated with worse clinical outcomes and negative patient experiences. Surgeons play a crucial role in optimizing postoperative pain and minimizing narcotic use. This article reviews pain management strategies available to plastic surgeons based on therapeutic class of medication and provides a framework for pain management based on Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols. The authors have developed a multimodal analgesia regimen to treat postsurgical pain. This article discusses opioids, acetaminophen, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors, gabapentin, muscle relaxants, steroids, and local anesthetics. It also discusses tumescent analgesia, regional blocks, and epidurals.

Keywords: Multimodal analgesia; Pain management; Plastic surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia / methods*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Pain Management / methods
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures*


  • Analgesics, Opioid