Research published by the International Anesthesia Research Society provides insight into the molecular factors that affect inflammation, pain and the healing of surgical incisions.
Two papers in the December issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, the official journal of the IARS, report that the signaling molecule interleukin-1 helps regulate inflammation in response to wounds. Findings by one group of researchers at Stanford University suggest that using drugs to block the IL-1 receptor might help control post-surgery incision pain.
According to another group of researchers at Stanford, the common practice of injecting local anesthetics into surgical incisions may lead to increased inflammation and potentially interfere with wound healing. In a study of 38 women who underwent cesarean sections, half received a local anesthetic, bupivacaine, and the other received an inactive placebo.
The bupivacaine injection seemed to cause a disruption of anti-inflammatory mechanisms in the incision, according to the authors. There were no significant differences in pain between the two groups of women, and none had a significant problems with wound healing.
To read the full report, go to http://www.anesthesia-analgesia.org/content/111/6/1525.full.