Emotional Stress and Immune Response in Surgery: A Psychoneuroimmunological Perspective

Author: Taufiqa Reza1, Han Grezenko2,3, Chad Barker4, Danyal Bakht5, Nuzhat Faran6, Noor Abdullah Yahya7, Maryam Affaf8, Hana Mohamed9,10, Rayan Gasim11, Mohammed Khaleel I K H Almadhoun12, Abdur Rehman13, Uday Kumar14, Abdullah Shehryar15, Abdul Haseeb Hasan16
1 Medicine, Avalon University School of Medicine, Youngstown, USA.
2 Medicine and Surgery, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, CHN.
3 Translational Neuroscience, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, USA.
4 Department of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, USA.
5 Medicine and Surgery, Mayo Hospital, Lahore, PAK.
6 Internal Medicine, Fatima Memorial Hospital, Lahore, PAK.
7 Family Medicine, Dubai Medical College, Dubai, ARE.
8 Internal Medicine, Women's Medical and Dental College, Abbottabad, PAK.
9 Medicine, United Nation Study & Understanding, The International Academy, Khartoum, SDN.
10 Medicine, Elrazi University, Khartoum, SDN.
11 Internal Medicine, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, SDN.
12 Medicine and Surgery, Mutah University, Karak, JOR.
13 Surgery, Mayo Hospital, Lahore, PAK.
14 Medical School, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical College Lyari, Karachi, PAK.
15 Internal Medicine, Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore, PAK.
16 Internal Medicine, Mayo Hospital, Lahore, PAK.
Conference/Journal: Cureus
Date published: 2023 Nov 13
Other: Volume ID: 15 , Issue ID: 11 , Pages: e48727 , Special Notes: doi: 10.7759/cureus.48727. , Word Count: 202

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) offers a deep dive into the nexus between emotional stress, immunity, and surgical outcomes. In this narrative review, we first trace PNI's historical roots, providing a foundational understanding of its evolution. We then dissect its significance across the surgical journey, from the preoperative phase through to postoperative recovery. It becomes evident through our exploration that emotional stress has profound implications for surgery, notably influencing wound healing rates, susceptibility to infections, and overall postoperative well-being. Among the arsenal to combat these challenges, interventions such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and complementary practices such as meditation and yoga have emerged as potent tools. They not only mitigate stress but also play a pivotal role in enhancing immune function. However, the journey to optimizing surgical outcomes is not just about identifying effective interventions. A resounding theme is the importance of holistic care, ensuring that all patients have equitable access to these tools. As PNI continues to evolve, we stand at the precipice of a healthcare revolution, one that promises a blend of personalized care, anchored in a deep understanding of the mind-body connection in surgical contexts.

Keywords: emotional stress; immune response; operating room; psychological factors; psychoneuroimmunology; surgery; surgical outcomes.

PMID: 38094516 PMCID: PMC10718057 DOI: 10.7759/cureus.48727