ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
TURKISH JOURNAL OF
THORACIC AND
CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
The effect of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation on chronic postoperative pain and long-term quality of life
Levent Cansever1, Celal Buğra Sezen1, Onur Volkan Yaran1, Salih Duman2, Yunus Seyrek3, Merve Hatipoğlu4, Kadriye Öneş5, Mehmet Ali Bedirhan1
1Department of Thoracic Surgery, University of Health Sciences, Yedikule Chest Diseases and Thoracic Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
2Department of Thoracic Surgery, Istanbul University Istanbul Medical School, Istanbul, Turkey
3Department of Thoracic Surgery, University of Health Sciences, Mehmet Akif Ersoy Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
4Department of Thoracic Surgery, Ankara City Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
5Department of Thoracic Surgery, University of Health Sciences, Istanbul Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
DOI : 10.5606/tgkdc.dergisi.2021.19800
Background: This study aims to investigate the effects of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on early-stage postoperative pain and long-term quality of life in patients undergoing thoracotomy.

Methods: Between January 2019 and September 2019, a total of 100 patients (76 males, 24 females; mean age: 57.9±11.9 years; range, 51 to 79 years) who underwent thoracotomy due to benign or malignant lesions were included. The patients were divided into two groups: 50 patients who received transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (Group 1) and a control group of 50 patients who did not receive transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (Group 2). The Short Form-36 life quality scale was used to evaluate patients' quality of life at one month before and after surgery.

Results: The mean length of hospital stay was 4.9±3.1 days in Group 1 and 6.2±4.6 days in Group 2 (p=0.008). There were no statistically significant differences in early-stage postoperative pain scores between the groups (p>0.05). Compared to Group 2, Group 1 had significantly lower pain scores and higher life quality scores pre- and postoperatively (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is an effective method to manage chronic pain in the postoperative period. On the other hand, it does not effectively reduce early-stage postoperative pain or affect complication rates. The prevention of chronic postoperative pain by transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation improves long-term quality of life of patients.

Keywords : Postoperative pain, quality of life, surgery, thoracic surgery, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
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