A photo of Alexandra Szabova.

Director, Pain Management Fellowship

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Anesthesia

513-636-7768

513-636-2920

Board Certified

"Our team takes a holistic approach to pain. We work together with the patient and family to address physical, emotional and psychological aspects of pain. We use the best-practice policies and evidence-based medicine to help our patients overcome the hurdles that chronic pain imposes upon them."

My Biography & Research

Biography

I am passionate about treating pediatric chronic pain. Pain can negatively impact many facets of life. Some children lose the physical ability to participate in daily activities, such as going to school or participating in sports, clubs and other extracurricular activities. Chronic pain also takes an emotional toll on patients and their families.

Helping kids get healthy again and to live full lives is my primary motivation to be in this field. I dedicate half my time to pediatric anesthesiology and the other half to pediatric pain medicine — where I take care of infants, children, adolescents and young adults with chronic pain.

I work as part of a multidisciplinary team at the Chronic Pain Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. The team includes a pain physician, a pain psychologist and a physical therapist. Our nurses and advanced practice nurses also play an active role in patient care.

Conditions we treat include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Ehlers Danlos syndrome (EDS) and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Facet pain
  • Headaches
  • Joint hypermobility
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Radiculopathy
  • Widespread pain

Our team takes a holistic approach to pain. We work together with the patient and family to address physical, emotional and psychological aspects of pain. We use the best-practice policies and evidence-based medicine to help our patients overcome the hurdles that chronic pain imposes upon them.

Our multimodal approach to pain relief means we use a variety of tools to address the many pathways where pain is processed in the body. We utilize medications, physical therapy, counseling and interventional procedures when needed.

I attend several subspecialty clinics, including those for epidermolysis bullosa, where we help with pain and pruritus (itching), as well as total pancreatectomy islet cell autotransplant (TPIAT) clinics, for kids with chronic pancreatitis and chronic abdominal pain.

In my research, I collaborate with pain psychologists to look for the best ways to treat pain. We are also looking for risk factors that cause or contribute to chronic pain and how to minimize or eliminate their effects.

I like teaching future pediatric pain doctors and attending FC Cincinnati soccer games. I enjoy the outdoors and visit Perfect North, a ski area near Cincinnati, in the winter. I also dream of going on a long road trip with my family around the country — visiting cool places and learning about their history.

Additional Languages

Russian, Slovak

Clinical Interests

Chronic pediatric pain management; chronic pediatric and adolescent back and musculoskeletal pain management; acute pain management; pediatric regional anesthesia techniques; interventional pain management; pediatric anesthesia

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Anesthesia

Clinical Divisions

Anesthesia, Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD, Epidermolysis Bullosa EB, Pain Management, Pancreas Care

Research Divisions

Anesthesia

My Locations

My Education

MD: Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia, 1995.

Residency: Anesthesiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH.

Fellowship: Pain Management, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH; Pediatric Anesthesia, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.

Certification: Anesthesiology, 2005; ABA Pain Medicine, 2005.

My Publications

In-hospital and 90-day outcomes after total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation for pediatric chronic and acute recurrent pancreatitis. Kotagal, M; Slusher, J; Ahmad, S; Aronson, LA; Brunner, J; Chima, R; Elder, DA; Goldschneider, KR; Hornung, L; Lin, TK; et al. American Journal of Transplantation. 2019; 19:1187-1194.

An update on the safety of prescribing opioids in pediatrics. Parikh, JM; Amolenda, P; Rutledge, J; Szabova, A; Chidambaran, V. Expert Opinion on Drug Safety. 2019; 18:127-143.

Chronic Pain. Baker, R; Szabova, A; Goldschneider, K. A Practice of Anesthesia for Infants and Children. : Elsevier; Elsevier; 2019.

(529) A multidisciplinary approach to pediatric back pain: characteristics and outcomes. Lynch-Jordan, A; Trygier, J; Barnett, K; Ayala, O; Szabova, A. Journal of Pain. 2016; 17:S106-S107.

Management of Chronic Pain Patient on the Pediatric Floor Orvil. Ayala, AO; Szabova, A. In: Rosenquist R; Souzdalnitski D; Urman R, Ed. Chronic Pain Management for the Hospitalized Patient. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2016.