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Original Research

Open Access

Postoperative chronic pain incidence and etiology in coronary artery bypass graft surgery: a prospective study

  • Hulya Yilmaz Ak1
  • Yasemin Ozsahin1
  • Mehmet Ali Yesiltas2
  • Ismail Haberal3
  • Ahmet Ozan Koyuncu3
  • Ali Ferit Pekel4
  • Ayse Pervin Sutas4

1Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Cardiology Institute, 34096 Istanbul, Turkey

2Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Istanbul Bakirkoy Dr. Sadi Konuk Training and Research Hospital, 34147 Istanbul, Turkey

3Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Cardiology Institute, 34096 Istanbul, Turkey

4Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, 34096 Istanbul, Turkey

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2021.102 Vol.17,Issue 6,November 2021 pp.82-89

Submitted: 24 March 2021 Accepted: 12 April 2021

Published: 08 November 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Mehmet Ali Yesiltas E-mail:


Introduction: Post-operative chronic pain (POCP), after updated by Werner-Kongsgaard, is defined as the pain developed after the surgical procedure or increased in intensity after the procedure, as the continuation of acute postoperative pain, localized in the surgical area, lasted at least 3 months, and other causes of pain excluded. In our study, we aimed to prospectively examine the prevalence of POCP and risk factors in the first three months after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABGS).

Methods: Between June 2019 and December 2020, a numerical rating scale (NRS) was announced by the study team to evaluate the preoperative pain levels of patients undergoing CABGS in a university hospital. When patients came for the control on the 15th postoperative day, physical examinations were performed, pain status was evaluated, and followed up by phone for three months (30, 60 and 90 days postoperatively). The study, which started with 158 patients, was completed with 110 patients.

Results: The patients were divided into two groups as the patients with pain (those with POCP) and the painless group (those without POCP). While there were 39 patients (35.5%) in the group of patients with pain, 71 patients (64.5%) were in the painless group. The proportion of female patients in the group of patients with pain was significantly higher than the painless group (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: As a result of our study, postoperative chronic pain is seen in one of every three patients after cardiac surgery. We observed that the risk increased in female patients and in patients with severe preoperative anxiety.


Coronary artery bypass surgery; Postoperative chronic pain; Cardiac surgery

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Hulya Yilmaz Ak,Yasemin Ozsahin,Mehmet Ali Yesiltas,Ismail Haberal,Ahmet Ozan Koyuncu,Ali Ferit Pekel,Ayse Pervin Sutas. Postoperative chronic pain incidence and etiology in coronary artery bypass graft surgery: a prospective study. Signa Vitae. 2021. 17(6);82-89.


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