Prediction of postoperative pain after gynecologic laparoscopy for nonacute pelvic pain

Published:April 14, 2014DOI:


      The primary objectives of this study were to explore the pain experience after gynecologic laparoscopy that is performed for nonacute pain conditions and to determine whether preoperative psychologic tests and quantitative tests of sensitization can predict postoperative pain.

      Study Design

      Participants included 61 women who underwent laparoscopy for nonacute pain (n = 61). A second group of 16 women who had undergone tubal ligation was included to explore whether laparoscopy induced a painful postoperative response in women without preoperative pain. Subjective tests included numeric pain scale, pain catastrophizing scale, depression scale, global assessment of change, and the McGill Pain Questionnaire Short Form. Quantitative sensory testing included abdominal cutaneous allodynia, trigger points, and reduced pain thresholds. The nonacute pain sample had 80% power to detect a difference of 0.5 standard deviation in average pain levels. Analysis included parametric and nonparametric comparisons of groups and univariate and linear regression analysis of clinically relevant variables.


      In women who underwent tubal ligation, pain levels were low before and after the procedure. In women who underwent surgery for nonacute pain, pain levels at 6 months and all psychologic test scores were reduced significantly compared with baseline (P < .001 and P = .001, respectively). Among those women with positive results on the quantitative pain tests of sensitization at baseline, average postoperative pain was also significantly reduced (P < .001). Univariate analysis demonstrated only tests of sensitization that were correlated with change in average pain level (P = .01). Regression analysis suggested that baseline pain, catastrophizing, and the presence of cutaneous allodynia significantly predicted pain levels 6 months after surgery (P < .001).


      Pain after laparoscopic surgery for nonacute painful conditions can be predicted by baseline pain, catastrophizing, and the presence of allodynia, which is a simple swab test that indicates sensitization.

      Key words

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