Chronic pain and thoracic surgery

Michael A. Erdek, Peter S. Staats

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The development of chronic pain after thoracic surgery is a particularly undesirable yet common complication. As the study of the pathophysiology of chronic pain with regard to the plasticity of the central nervous system advances, new insights are being gained into not only the potential origins of chronic postthoracotomy pain, but also its potential treatment options. Pain that is originally nociceptive in nature in the acute postoperative period after thoracotomy may become neuropathic in time, requiring a different paradigm for its treatment. The ongoing research into the development of chronic pain, including that observed after thoracic surgery, portends the development of further advances in options for its control. The employment of multidisciplinary strategies of pharmacologic, behavioral, and interventional procedural techniques provides the current foundation for the management of this challenging condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalThoracic surgery clinics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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