Effectiveness of different protocols to reduce postoperative pain following orthognathic surgery: A systematic review and meta-analysis


      Pain management in orthognathic surgery is essential to enhance recovery, reduce hospital stay, and improve the whole experience of the patient. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate current evidence on pain management in orthognathic surgery.
      A systematic review of the literature was performed following PRISMA guidelines, and PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Registry were searched to retrieve randomised clinical trials (RCTs) published until July 2020. RCTs that compared different pre-emptive analgesia and low-level laser therapy (LLLT) with placebo after orthognathic surgery were included. Outcome variables were pain scores and duration of surgery. The quality of evidence was rated according to Cochrane’s tool for assessing risk of bias. Standardised mean difference (SMD) or mean difference (MD) was used to analyse continuous data. There was significant pain reduction within the first 48 hours after pre-emptive analgesia (very low quality evidence, SMD: −1.329; confidence interval (CI): −2.030 to −0.628; p = 0.001) and LLLT (very low quality evidence, SMD: −0.690; CI: −1.172 to −0.207; p = 0.005) versus placebo. Evidence to support pre-emptive analgesia or LLLT effectively reducing pain scores within the first postoperative 48 hours after orthognathic surgery when compared with placebo, was of low quality.


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