On the other hand, post-traumatic pain syndrome may be less easily defined, with litigation and compensation often playing a role in the pain disorder. The otolaryngologist must be open-minded, compassionate, and understanding, yet cognizant of other elements that could be at play. Consultation with a pain management expert is usually very helpful, as is an honest discussion with the patient.
Explore This IssueApril 2018
The management of extended acute and chronic pain syndromes in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery can be both challenging and complicated. Balancing ethical principles in providing pain mitigation requires the otolaryngologist to be knowledgeable of current guidelines and best practices, while at the same time relying on a sense of responsibility to the patient and a duty to balance beneficence with nonmaleficence in the best interests and welfare of each patient.
Dr. Holt is professor emeritus in the department of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.