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Plastic Surgery Research Council

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Medicinal And Recreational Marijuana: A Review Of The Literature And Recommendations For The Practicing Plastic Surgeon
Armin Edalatpour, MD, Pradeep Attaluri, MD, Jeffrey D. Larson, MD.
University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Madison, WI, USA.

PURPOSE: A large shift in public opinion, coupled with the legalization of marijuana in several states for therapeutic and recreational use has made cannabis consumption much more common than in previous eras. The aim of this study is to review the current literature in regards to the therapeutic use of marijuana, to discuss the side effects of marijuana in chronic users as it related to surgical patients, and to provide recommendations for the practicing plastic surgeon.
METHODS: Literature search was conducted in order to identify therapeutic effects of cannabis, especially in plastic surgery. Topics such as postoperative pain, postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) and wound healing were of special interest as they are most closely related to plastic and reconstructive patients. Effects of cannabis in the peri-operative period was also reviewed.
RESULTS: There is substantial evidence in support of cannabis use in the treatment of chronic pain. However, its use during the postoperative period as an analgesic requires further research. Large body of evidence also exists for the use of cannabis for treatment of chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), however, more research is needed to determine its efficacy for PONV treatment.
CONCLUSION: Cannabis may have a promising role in the treatment of postoperative pain and PONV as well as applications in wound healing and flap survivorship in plastic and reconstructive surgery patients. Although much research is needed in the area.


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