The research of Michelle O. Kinney, M.D., focuses on improving postoperative pain control. Patients who have had surgery for lung cancer or esophageal cancer generally benefit from thoracic epidural infusions, and Dr. Kinney enjoys searching for ways to improve these patients' pain control, minimize side effects and maximize safety.
Dr. Kinney has been the primary investigator on both funded prospective research and retrospective research. She has worked on the Inpatient Pain Service at Mayo Clinic since 1997 and is board certified in both anesthesiology and pain medicine.
- Utilizing gabapentin preoperatively to improve acute and chronic postoperative pain in lung cancer surgery patients
- Assessing quality of life in patients with post-thoracotomy pain syndrome
- Utilizing gabapentin preoperatively in conjunction with nerve catheter techniques to improve postoperative acute pain following total knee arthroplasty
- Utilizing two epidural catheter infusions for esophageal cancer surgery patients
- Evaluating whether specific thoracic epidural infusions or other risk factors affect the likelihood of developing post-thoracotomy pain syndrome
Significance to patient care
Dr. Kinney's research has demonstrated that preoperative gabapentin does not improve pain control in patients with thoracic epidural infusions or femoral nerve catheters. In fact, it is quite sedating in certain patients. This information has been utilized at Mayo Clinic to adjust preoperative medication regimens.
Her research has also shown that postoperative itching from epidural infusions can likely be significantly decreased by reducing the epidural infusion rate slightly.
Dr. Kinney's research has demonstrated outstanding safety in postoperative thoracotomy care at Mayo, with no episodes of respiratory depression or intensive care unit admission due to opioid administration.
Dr. Kinney has served as a collaborator on research that demonstrated that esophageal cancer patients have less pain with movement when two epidural catheters are used rather than one, and fewer complications are noted as well.