Pain Quality After Pediatric Pectus Excavatum Repair

Published:August 01, 2022DOI:



      Neuropathic pain medications are included in multimodal postoperative analgesic strategies, but quality of perioperative pain is rarely assessed.


      The purpose of this study was to describe adolescents’ pain experiences after thoracoscopic pectus excavatum repair (Nuss procedure) using the Adolescent Pediatric Pain Tool.


      This prospective descriptive longitudinal study was designed to test the hypothesis that pain quality descriptors reported are consistent with neuropathic pain.


      A convenience sample of 23 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years from a single urban, university affiliated, nonprofit children's hospital consented to self-report pain using the Adolescent Pediatric Pain Tool before and during hospitalization, and up to 14 months after Nuss procedure. Visual analytic techniques were used to analyze reported pain intensity, location, and affective, evaluative, sensory, and temporal qualities.


      Postoperative pain quality, intensity, number of sites, and surface area decreased over time. Word clouds illustrated that neuropathic sensory and temporal pain quality descriptors increased in frequency 2 to 6 weeks after surgery and were the predominant descriptors 2 to 4 months after surgery. Dot matrix charts illustrated an inconsistent relationship of pain quality and intensity with pain surface area.


      Pain quality should be assessed with valid, reliable, and developmentally appropriate tools. Visual analytics help illustrate pain quality at single points in time and longitudinally and may be helpful in guiding postoperative pain treatment.
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