Post-Operative Pain Management in CV Surgery

Post operative pain following cardiac surgery is typically minimal and manageable. Pain should be approach with an eye towards minimization of narcotics as earlier as possible in the post-operative course. The concept of “multimodal analgesia” should be employed with a combination of acetaminophen, low dose oral opioids, NSAIDS, and less frequently, anti-convulsants and muscle relaxants.

Rafiq S1, Steinbr├╝chel DA, Wanscher MJ, Andersen LW, Navne A, Lilleoer NB, Olsen PS. Multimodal analgesia versus traditional opiate based analgesia after cardiac surgery, a randomized controlled trial.
J Cardiothorac Surg. 2014 Mar 20;9:52. doi: 10.1186/1749-8090-9-52

What is a Physician Assistant?

A Physician Assistant, or PA, is an advanced practice clinician who is licensed to practice medicine in collaboration with a supervising physician or surgeon. PAs are licensed to treat and diagnose disease, prescribe therapies and medications, order and interpret tests, and perform other clinical duties as delegated by their collaborating physician.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) has an excellent post on this topic, including a short video describing PA’s and their important role in today’s health care system.