The Association Between Pain and In-Hospital Complications and Duration of Stay After Colorectal Surgery

Noga Avrahami, Batya Betesh-Abay, Abed N Azab, Tatiana Nisimov, Muhammad Abu Tailakh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Pain is a subjective and multidimensional experience often inadequately managed following surgery. Postoperative pain has been shown to correlate with hospital length of stay (HLOS) and hospital complications. Given advancements in preemptive pain management approaches, reevaluation is necessary.

AIMS: The purpose of this study was to examine the association between postoperative pain intensity and HLOS and in-hospital complications among patients who underwent colorectal surgery, adjusted by sociodemographic and underlying medical variables.

SETTING AND PATIENTS: We used electronic medical records. Data were collected from patients who underwent colorectal surgery at a large general hospital in Israel from January 2012 to December 2018.

DESIGN AND METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study. Information on HLOS, medical diagnoses, pain intensity, use of analgesics, postoperative infections, patient sociodemographic data, chronic diseases, functionality status, and source of admission were extracted from medical records. Logistic regression analysis was used for the final model, and HLOS and in-hospital complications were the major outcomes.

RESULTS: We enrolled 1,073 patients. Of them, 554 males (51.6%) with a mean age of 62.54 ± 16.55 years. The median postoperative pain score was 1.54 (interquartile range, 0.84; 2.16), and an in-hospital complication rate of 1.3% (n = 14). Postoperative pain was not associated with prolonged HLOS with adjustment to relevant independent variables (odds ratio, 1.399; 95% confidence interval, 0.759-2.578; p = .282). Contrarily, age, malignancy, assistance needed in activities of daily living, use of analgesic agents, and postoperative infection were risk factors for prolonged HLOS. Additionally, postoperative pain was not related to a higher risk of in-hospital complications.

CONCLUSIONS: Pain intensity post colorectal surgery was not a risk factor for extended HLOS or in-hospital complications. In contradistinction, tending to patient needs, adequate analgesic use, and reducing infection rates can shorten HLOS, improve health outcomes, and economize health care resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)848-854
Number of pages7
JournalPain Management Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - 6 Feb 2022


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