Beaussier M, El’Ayoubi H, Schiffer E, Rollin M, Parc Y, Mazoit JX, Azizi L, Gervaz P, Rohr S, Biermann C, Lienhart A, Eledjam JJ.

Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, St. Antoine Hospital, Paris, France.

Blockade of parietal nociceptive afferents by the use of continuous wound infiltration with local anesthetics may be beneficial in a multimodal approach to postoperative pain management after major surgery. The role of continuous preperitoneal infusion of ropivacaine for pain relief and postoperative recovery after open colorectal resections was evaluated in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial.

METHODS: After obtaining written informed consents, a multiholed wound catheter was placed by the surgeon in the preperitoneal space at the end of surgery in patients scheduled to undergo elective open colorectal resection by midline incision. They were thereafter randomly assigned to receive through the catheter either 0.2% ropivacaine (10-ml bolus followed by an infusion of 10 ml/h during 48 h) or the same protocol with 0.9% NaCl. In addition, all patients received patient-controlled intravenous morphine analgesia.

RESULTS: Twenty-one patients were evaluated in each group. Compared with preperitoneal saline, ropivacaine infusion reduced morphine consumption during the first 72 h and improved pain relief at rest during 12 h and while coughing during 48 h. Sleep quality was also better during the first two postoperative nights. Time to recovery of bowel function (74 +/- 19 vs. 105 +/- 54 h; P = 0.02) and duration of hospital stay (115 +/- 25 vs. 147 +/- 53 h; P = 0.02) were significantly reduced in the ropivacaine group. Ropivacaine plasma concentrations remained below the level of toxicity. No side effects were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Continuous preperitoneal administration of 0.2% ropivacaine at 10 ml/h during 48 h after open colorectal resection reduced morphine consumption, improved pain relief, and accelerated postoperative recovery.


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