Effective anesthesia and postoperative pain management are key elements for both optimal perioperative patient care and satisfaction and an accelerated recovery after ambulatory or inpatient colorectal surgery. A major concern for patients undergoing surgery continues to be pain control both during and after the operation. Although recent advances have been made in the development of new analgesics, treatment strategies, and delivery systems, providing effective pain control can still be a challenge. This is especially true in the setting of accelerated recovery programs that aim for early ambulation, earlier hospital discharge, and a more rapid return to the activities of daily living. We review the common methods of anesthesia and pain management for both ambulatory and major abdominal surgery and describe how, when properly chosen and implemented, the result is better patient care and expedited operative recovery.
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