Patient-controlled analgesia and length of hospital stay in orthognathic surgery: A randomized controlled trial

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Purpose: The objective of this prospective, randomized controlled pilot study of patients undergoing orthognathic surgery was to compare the hospital length of stay (LOS) in patients using intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) versus patients receiving scheduled and as-needed oral analgesia. Patients and Methods: A total of 40 patients (19 male and 21 female patients) aged 16 to 56 years (mean, 20.73 years; standard deviation, 6.87 years) were recruited prospectively and randomized to PCA and non-PCA groups of equal size. Recording of the patient-reported pain score using a visual analog scale was commenced at 8:00 AM on day 1 after surgery until discharge. The pain score from routine nursing observations during the postoperative period was recorded until the patient was discharged from the hospital. Results: Randomization resulted in approximately equal proportions of male patients (45% vs 50%) and median ages (18.5 years vs 20 years) for the PCA group versus the non-PCA group; however, the PCA group was noted to have a higher proportion of double-jaw surgery (65% vs 40%). The median LOS was 2 days for both the PCA and non-PCA groups (P =.06). No statistically significant difference in pain scores was found between the 2 groups either at rest (P =.27) or on movement (P =.13). Conclusions: No evidence was found to indicate the superiority of either the PCA or non-PCA regimen with respect to LOS and pain scores; however, this is not evidence of equivalence of the 2 pain management approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-827
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

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