Background and Aims There is a positive correlation between the number of elective surgeries performed worldwide every year and the number of patients suffering from chronic postoperative pain (CPP).
As prevention is increasingly playing an important role, medical research focused on finding the perioperative triggering events for pain, with the goal of establishing guidelines to prevent the chronicization of pain.
Studies have shown that perioperative regional anesthesia can be one of the most important tools in the prevention of peripheral and central sensitization.
The aim of this presentation is to discuss the various mechanisms and methods employed by regional anesthesia to reduce the incidence of CPP.
Methods This review describes several aspects on regional anesthesia and its role in targeting important mechanisms responsible for the chronicization of pain. The review also discusses the evidence presented in recent medical literature regarding the efficacy of regional anesthesia.
Results Even though regional anesthesia meets the premises required to prevent the development of CPP, there is insufficient data to measure the strength of its impact in preventing long-term pain.
The challenge lies in the heterogenicity of the sampled population, the variety of surgical techniques and the use of perioperative drugs and adjuvants during nerve block procedures.
Conclusions Regional anesthesia is one of the fastest growing areas within the field of anesthesia due to its many advantages over the use of opioids.
While further research needs to be conducted, there is evidence that regional anesthesia employed together with other preventative methods has high potential for reducing the incidence of CPP
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