Senior Scholars Program


The Effect of Age on Postoperative Pain Medication Requirements Following Vaginal Reconstructive Surgery

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Urogynecology

Faculty Mentor

Labin, Lisa

Publication Date


Document Type



Pain, Postoperative; Pain Measurement; Gynecologic Surgical Procedures; Vagina; Analgesics; Women; Adult; Middle Aged; Aged


Health Services Research | Medical Pharmacology | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Urology


Background:There are many studies that indicate decreasing age a risk factor for increased pain medication usage. Existing research suggests there is a difference in pain tolerance between men and women, as well as between young and elderly patients when a broad range of types of surgeries are evaluated. Anecdotal experience suggests that there may be a relationship between age and pain medication requirements for women who have undergone vaginal surgery. Studies also show a difference in pain reporting and perception between men and women. Experimental data in rats show female hormones have an effect on pain tolerance, but there is limited information available about humans.

Aim:The aim of this study was to compare pain medication requirements in women 55 years or younger with women 56 years or older following vaginal reconstructive surgery.

Methods:This was a retrospective Chart review of 325 patients who underwent vaginal reconstructive surgery by the Urogynecology division at the University of Massachusetts Medical School between January 2001 and December 2005. Subjects who had a vaginal hysterectomy and vaginal reconstructive procedures were identified and divided into 2 cohorts based on an age cutoff of 55 years. This created a “young cohort” of women 55 years or younger and an “elderly cohort” of women 56 years or older. X number of subjects were in the young cohort and Y number of patients were in the elderly cohort.. Data on perioperative and postoperative analgesic usage was collected. Total pain medication usage for the entire hospital stay was recorded. Narcotic pain medication was converted to morphine equivalence for comparison. Non-narcotic pain medication was recorded by total Pain rating using the NRS scale at times into and out of the PACU and floor were recorded when available.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Senior Scholars Program


Morse, Abraham



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