I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

2022 Sep 04

BMC Surg



Optimal postoperative pain management after VATS lung resection by thoracic epidural analgesia, continuous paravertebral block or single-shot intercostal nerve block (OPtriAL): study protocol of a three-arm multicentre randomised controlled trial.


Adequate pain control after video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) for lung resection is important to improve postoperative mobilisation, recovery, and to prevent pulmonary complications. So far, no consensus exists on optimal postoperative pain management after VATS anatomic lung resection. Thoracic epidural analgesia (TEA) is the reference standard for postoperative pain management following VATS. Although the analgesic effect of TEA is clear, it is associated with patient immobilisation, bladder dysfunction and hypotension which may result in delayed recovery and longer hospitalisation. These disadvantages of TEA initiated the development of unilateral regional techniques for pain management. The most frequently used techniques are continuous paravertebral block (PVB) and single-shot intercostal nerve block (ICNB). We hypothesize that using either PVB or ICNB is non-inferior to TEA regarding postoperative pain and superior regarding quality of recovery (QoR). Signifying faster postoperative mobilisation, reduced morbidity and shorter hospitalisation, these techniques may therefore reduce health care costs and improve patient satisfaction.