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2022 Sep 27




A Retrospective Comparison of Three Patient-Controlled Analgesic Strategies: Intravenous Opioid Analgesia Plus Abdominal Wall Nerve Blocks versus Epidural Analgesia versus Intravenous Opioid Analgesia Alone in Open Liver Surgery.


: Adequate pain control is of crucial importance to patient recovery and satisfaction following abdominal surgeries. The optimal analgesia regimen remains controversial in liver resections. : Three groups of patients undergoing open hepatectomies were retrospectively analyzed, reviewing intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IV-PCA) versus IV-PCA in addition to bilateral rectus sheath and subcostal transversus abdominis plane nerve blocks (IV-PCA + NBs) versus patient-controlled thoracic epidural analgesia (TEA). Patient-reported pain scores and clinical data were extracted and correlated with the method of analgesia. Outcomes included total morphine consumption and numerical rating scale (NRS) at rest and on movement over the first three postoperative days, time to remove the nasogastric tube and urinary catheter, time to commence on fluid and soft diet, and length of hospital stay. : The TEA group required less morphine over the first three postoperative days than IV-PCA and IV-PCA + NBs groups (9.21 ± 4.91 mg, 83.53 ± 49.51 mg, and 64.17 ± 31.96 mg, respectively, < 0.001). Even though no statistical difference was demonstrated in NRS scores on the first three postoperative days at rest and on movement, the IV-PCA group showed delayed removal of urinary catheter (removal on postoperative day 4.93 ± 5.08, 3.87 ± 1.31, and 3.70 ± 1.30, respectively) and prolonged length of hospital stay (discharged on postoperative day 12.71 ± 7.26, 11.79 ± 5.71, and 10.02 ± 4.52, respectively) as compared to IV-PCA + NBs and TEA groups. : For postoperative pain management, it is expected that the TEA group required the least amount of opioid; however, IV-PCA + NBs and TEA demonstrated comparable postoperative outcomes, namely, the time to remove nasogastric tube/urinary catheter, to start the diet, and the length of hospital stay. IV-PCA with NBs could thus be a reliable analgesic modality for patients undergoing open liver resections.