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Craniotomy 

Craniotomy
Chapter:
Craniotomy
Source:
Acute Pain Medicine
Author(s):

Roxana Grasu

, and Sally Raty

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190856649.003.0016

This chapter discusses postcraniotomy headache (PCH), a common yet frequently underdiagnosed and undertreated occurrence, with up to 30% of patients experiencing persistent headache after surgery. The chapter identifies risk factors for the development of acute and persistent PCH and describes mechanisms for its development, such as injury to the sensory nerves supplying the scalp and underlying tissues or to the perivascular nerves that supply sensation to the dura mater. Pain management following craniotomy is a balancing act of achieving adequate analgesia while avoiding oversedation, respiratory depression, hypercapnia, nausea, vomiting, and hypertension. Current evidence suggests that a balanced, multimodal approach to the treatment of acute PCH is often required to optimize pain control, minimize undesired side effects, and prevent the development of persistent PCH.

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