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Perioperative headache and day case surgery

  • P. S. Gill (a1), C. Guest (a1), P. G. Rabey (a1) and D. J. Buggy (a1)



Background and objective: Headache is a common and distressing morbidity associated with day case surgery. We undertook a prospective, observational study to identify risk factors associated with perioperative headache in a modern, day case surgery setting.

Methods: Two hundred-and-thirty consecutive patients presenting for day case surgery were invited to complete a questionnaire about their previous experience of headache and various associated risk factors. Questionnaires were completed by 90% of patients. The presence of headache in the pre- or postoperative period was also documented. We used multivariate logistic regression to model perioperative headache.

Results: Increased frequency of previous headache, odds ratio (95% confidence interval) 1.9 (1.2–2.8) (P = 0.004) and low alcohol consumption 0.90 (0.87–0.98) (P = 0.019) were significant predictors. A history of migraine showed a trend towards being predictive 1.9 (0.9–4.0) (P = 0.055). Some risk factors thought to be important such as caffeine withdrawal and duration of starvation and fluid deprivation were not associated with perioperative headache in this setting.

Conclusions: In this study of risk factors associated with perioperative headache in day case surgery, increased frequency of headache and low alcohol consumption were independent risk factors.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Pardeep Gill, Department of Anaesthesia, Derby Royal Infirmary, London Road, Derby, DE1 2QY, UK. E-mail:; Tel: +44 (0)1332 347 141 ext. 4772; Fax: +44 (0)1332 254 605


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Perioperative headache and day case surgery

  • P. S. Gill (a1), C. Guest (a1), P. G. Rabey (a1) and D. J. Buggy (a1)


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