Weaker sex? Men feel more pain than women while recovering from a major surgery, a new study suggests.
The study of over 10,000 patients suggests men experience more pain after major surgery, while women feel more pain after minor procedures.
According to the research, gender plays a part in pain experienced after surgery.
“The influence of gender and sexes is a key issue of today’s research in medicine. However, current literature in the field of perioperative medicine rarely focuses on this question,” said Dr Andreas Sandner-Kiesling, from the Medical University of Graz, Austria.
“Our aim was to analyse a large population to find differences in postoperative pain perception in females and males,” said Sandner-Kiesling.
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Patients were interviewed 24 hours following their operation based on a purpose-designed questionnaire.
This incorporated details about surgery and anaesthesia and questions about the patient’s wellbeing and postoperative pain.
The study took more than four years and 10,200 patients were interviewed (42 per cent male, 58 per cent female).
When analysing data for influences of sexes on postoperative pain overall, the researchers found no significant differences.
However, after arranging data according to the different kind of surgeries, sexes showed significantly different results.
Men were 27 per cent more likely to experience a greater number of moderate pain episodes after major vascular and orthopaedic surgery, while women were 34 per cent more likely to report higher pain ratings after minor procedures, such diagnostic procedures and biopsies.
“Based on our findings it can be presumed that the type (and severity) of surgery may play a pivotal role, as females express higher pain scores after minor procedures, whereas males are more affected after major surgery,” the authors concluded.
The research was presented at the Euroanaesthesia meeting in Stockholm.