Efficacy of red low-level laser for postoperative pain management: A review of literature

J Perioper Pract. 2023 Nov;33(11):350-357. doi: 10.1177/17504589221124757. Epub 2022 Nov 17.


Many patients who undergo surgical procedures experience acute postoperative pain, with less than half receiving adequate pain relief. Recent advancements in postoperative pain management include the market clearance by the US Food and Drug Administration for the utilisation of red low-level laser therapy in providing postoperative pain relief. The Food and Drug Administration market clearance was based on clinical data from randomised controlled trials that supported the safety and effectiveness of visible red laser therapy across various surgical procedures. This review of literature aims to evaluate the mechanisms of action, the dose-response curves and clinical outcomes of red low-level laser for postoperative pain management. A literature search was limited to randomised controlled trials that evaluated the use of red low-level laser therapy on postoperative pain. The results from the literature search found that seven studies met the search qualifications. The literature review findings demonstrated that red low-level laser therapy is a safe and effective treatment alternative for postoperative pain management. In addition to postoperative pain reduction, the findings of the literature revealed that red low-level laser therapy may promote healing and reduce the consumption of postoperative prescription analgesic drugs.

Keywords: Acute pain; Low level laser therapy; Perioperative education and post-registration; Postoperative.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lasers
  • Pain Management / methods
  • Pain, Postoperative* / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Analgesics