LAS VEGAS – Patients like cold packs for pain control after laparoscopic hysterectomy, according to a from Cleveland Clinic Florida (Weston).
Cold packs have been shown to reduce pain in other types of surgery, so investigators at the clinic wanted to try them out for the procedure, said study leadan ob.gyn. at the clinic.
Twenty-eight women were randomized to get packs right after surgery, and told to use them – before turning to oxycodone tabs – every 6 hours for 72 hours – and then as needed. Twenty-eight other women were randomized to the control group. Surgery was for benign indications, most often uterine bleeding secondary to fibroids. Besides the cold packs, there were no differences between the groups in analgesia protocols.
The differences in pain control, assessed on a 10-point scale over the phone, weren’t statistically significant, but they di move in the right direction. At 24 hours, women who were cold pack users reported a median pain score of 4, versus 4.5 among controls. At 72 hours, they reported a median score of 2, versus 2.5 in the control group.
At 2 weeks postoperatively, women who were cold pack users had used a mean of 4 oxycodone pills, versus 7 among the controls, which translated into a mean of 13 IV morphine equivalents versus 24 in favor of cold packs (P = .143).
While not significantly different, overall numbers of opioid tabs consumed and morphine equivalents “demonstrated lower use in the study group,” Dr. Frazzini Padilla noted at the meeting sponsored by AAGL.
Also, 89% of women said that cold packs helped reduce their pain, and 92% said they’d use them again after an operation. “In a day when everything is driven by patient satisfaction, patients’ perception of their recovery” is important. Because cold packs are cheap, harmless, and seemed to help with patient perceptions, “we do recommend that people use” them. “It’s just another added measure that we give” at Cleveland Clinic Florida, she said.
The study team also found that 86% of the women in the trial used 10 or fewer oxycodone tabs after surgery. Across the country, women are prescribed about 25 tabs after a laparoscopic hysterectomy; the study suggests it’s overkill, as an audience member noted, especially given the current climate.
The two arms of the study were well balanced. The mean age was 46 years, and mean body mass index 30.4 kg/m2.
There was no outside funding, and the investigators didn’t have any disclosures.
SOURCE: Frazzini Padilla P et al. 2018 AAGL Global Congress,