Ice-POP: Ice Application for Post-Operative Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Date

2021-05-01T05:00:00.000Z

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The Opioid Crisis is directly linked to over-prescription of opioids by physicians. Non-opioid and non-pharmacologic forms of post-operative pain management need to be explored. Cryotherapy, accomplished with the use of ice, is a non-pharmacologic form of pain relief. There is limited data regarding cryotherapy and its application in abdominal surgery. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effectiveness of cryotherapy as an additional form of pain control in women undergoing total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH) for benign gynecologic conditions through a randomized trial. METHODS: 52 patients were randomized evenly to receive standardized post-operative pain management with or without cryotherapy (abdominal ice packs applied directly following surgery). VAS pain scores and narcotic usage were collected at the patient's pre-op appointment, before surgery, at discharge, during a 1-day post-op phone interview, and at a 2-week post-op appointment. Questions about the patient's perception of pain were asked during the postoperative day 1 phone call. Quality of recovery scales were collected at enrollment and the 2-week post-op appointment. Demographic data, VAS pain scores, and narcotic usage were analyzed for significance via the student's t-test. RESULTS: There was no statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) between the patient group receiving ice and no ice based on demographics, VAS pain score, narcotic usage, quality of recovery, and perception of pain control. However, for patients using ice, VAS pain scores were lower on postoperative day 1 and narcotic usage was lower in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU). Patient perception of ice was largely positive with 87% of patients reporting they would use ice again while 83% would recommend ice to family/friends. Of note, less than half (38%) of opioids prescribed were used within 2 weeks post-op. CONCLUSION: Based on the minimal risks of ice, low cost, and perceived benefit by patients including the opportunity for patient autonomy, we would recommend using ice immediately following surgery. Ice is a reasonable alternative to decrease the number of opiates prescribed.

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Subjects

Abdomen, Analgesics, Opioid, Cryotherapy, Ice, Pain Management, Pain, Postoperative

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