Orient Journal of Medicine

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Effect of Gender on Postoperative Morbidity following Lower Third Molar Surgery

N F Chukwuneke


The effects of gender on pain, swelling and trismus was evaluated in eighty patients of both gender referred for extraction of impacted lower third molar at the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu.
Patients and Methods:
Eighty patients of both gender, randomly divided into two equal groups, participated in this study. Group 1 (n= 40) were the male patients while group 2 (n= 40) were the female patients. Their ages ranged between 18 and 40 years (mean 26 +6.4). The mean preoperative mouth openings between the two groups were similar.
All the patients were treated under the same surgical and postoperative protocols. The lower third molars were extracted using the buccal approach method. The length of surgical intervention was recorded as the time between the first incision and the placement of the last suture. Pain, swelling and trismus were evaluated at 24 hours, 72 hours and 5 days postoperatively.
The result of the study indicates that the female patients had a statistically significant shorter operating time and experienced less swelling than the male patients (p < 0.05). Pain was significantly more in the female patients than in the males (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) between the two groups as regards trismus.
The inflammatory response following third molar surgery increases within 24 – 72 hours after surgery with the male patients exhibiting more inflammatory swelling than the females. However, women appear to be more sensitive to pain than men.

Keywords: third molar surgery, gender, morbidity

Orient Journal of Medicine Vol. 19 (1-4) 2007: pp. 5-11

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