Optimizing pain relief post surgery
Unfortunately, the risk of developing chronic pain following surgery is high. Thus, optimizing pain relief post-surgery is critical. Inadequate pain relief, can lead to anatomic and endocrinological changes that can cause pain to become chronic. Learn more here.
The risk may be further amplified by the current “echo COVID-19 pandemic" of mental health issues, as depression and anxiety significantly increase the risk of developing chronic pain after surgery. Unfortunately, when chronic pain is not adequately managed there is an increased risk of building a drug tolerance to pain medications or dependencies to opioids. However, genetic testing known as pharmacogenetics can help mitigate the risk of chronic pain and reliance on medications.
Can pharmacogenetics help manage postoperative pain safely and effectively?
Advancements in genetic testing, termed pharmacogenetics (PGx), gives insight into which pain drugs will be most compatible with a person’s DNA. When completed ahead of surgeries, patients and physicians can use this information to inform anesthesia and postoperative care, enabling better pain control and improving safety by reducing the risk of adverse drug events.
“PGx testing can be a useful tool in ensuring the hundreds of thousands of patients about to have surgery will have their postoperative pain safely and effectively managed, helping limit their risk for developing chronic pain and minimizing their exposure to opioids,” said Dr. Lydia Hatcher, Associate Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at McMaster University, with a focused practice in chronic pain.
Inagene Diagnostics offers a PGx test with over 140 medications used to treat mental health and pain (link to product page). The test kit retails at $299 CAD and can be ordered online without a physician’s referral. Results can then be easily shared with your physician to help ensure you are prescribed the right medication for you based on your DNA.
Learn more how pharmacogenetics can help with chronic pain post-surgery here.