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1.  Greek surgical patients’ satisfaction related to perioperative anesthetic services in an academic institute 
Patient satisfaction is an increasingly appreciated measure of outcome for health care procedures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate Greek surgical patients’ satisfaction with perioperative anesthetic services and to determine which factors maximize satisfaction level through all phases of perioperative care.
Adult Greek patients admitted for elective surgery in an academic hospital were included in the study. Three separate questionnaires were constructed: Q1 (patients who underwent general anesthesia alone or combined with epidural) and Q2 (patients who received regional anesthesia alone) covered perioperative anesthetic care; Q3 covered postoperative analgesia services in the ward (patient-controlled analgesia or epidural analgesia) provided by our anesthesiologist-centered analgesia care team. Principal component analysis with varimax rotation was used separately for each questionnaire, and extracted factors were entered into multiple logistic regression with patient satisfaction as the dependent binary variable. Statistical significance level was set at P < 0.05.
Three hundred and forty-five patients were included. Q1 questionnaire (answered by 282 patients) included four dimensions: communication with the anesthesiologist, sense of cold/shivering, pain, and nausea. Q2 questionnaire (answered by 63 patients) included three dimensions: communication with the anesthesiologist, sense of cold/shivering, and nausea/anxiety. Q3 questionnaire (answered by 237 patients) included five dimensions: anesthesiologist intervention upon symptoms, pain, care by the anesthesiologist/physical activity, nausea/vomiting, and anesthesiologist behavior. The communication dimension score in Q1 and Q2, sense of shivering in Q2, and pain management and anesthesiologist behavior dimension scores in Q3 were significantly associated with patient satisfaction. Overall satisfaction rates were high (according to the questionnaire, the observed percentage was in the range of 96.3%–98.6%).
Greek surgical patients reported high satisfaction with perioperative anesthesia care. Interaction between patient and anesthesiologists during all periods of study, absence of shivering in regional anesthesia, and adequate postoperative pain control in the ward were significant predictors of patient satisfaction in the present Greek surgical population.
PMCID: PMC3422116  PMID: 22927750
Greek surgical patients; satisfaction; questionnaire; anesthetic management; postoperative analgesia care team
2.  Analgesic Opioid Dose Is an Important Indicator of Postoperative Ileus Following Radical Cystectomy with Ileal Conduit: Experience in the Robotic Surgery Era 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2014;55(5):1359-1365.
Postoperative ileus (POI) is common following bowel resection for radical cystectomy with ileal conduit (RCIC). We investigated perioperative factors associated with prolonged POI following RCIC, with specific focus on opioid-based analgesic dosage.
Materials and Methods
From March 2007 to January 2013, 78 open RCICs and 26 robot-assisted RCICs performed for bladder carcinoma were identified with adjustment for age, gender, American Society of Anesthesiologists grade, and body mass index (BMI). Perioperative records including operative time, intraoperative fluid excess, estimated blood loss, lymph node yield, and opioid analgesic dose were obtained to assess their associations with time to passage of flatus, tolerable oral diet, and length of hospital stay (LOS). Prior to general anaesthesia, patients received epidural patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) consisted of fentanyl with its dose adjusted for BMI. Postoperatively, single intravenous injections of tramadol were applied according to patient desire.
Multivariate analyses revealed cumulative dosages of both PCA fentanyl and tramadol injections as independent predictors of POI. According to surgical modality, linear regression analyses revealed cumulative dosages of PCA fentanyl and tramadol injections to be positively associated with time to first passage of flatus, tolerable diet, and LOS in the open RCIC group. In the robot-assisted RCIC group, only tramadol dose was associated with time to flatus and tolerable diet. Compared to open RCIC, robot-assisted RCIC yielded shorter days to diet and LOS; however, it failed to shorten days to first flatus.
Reducing opioid-based analgesics shortens the duration of POI. The utilization of the robotic system may confer additional benefit.
PMCID: PMC4108824  PMID: 25048497
Analgesics; opioid; cystectomy; ileus; robotics
3.  Risk factors for postoperative ileus after urologic laparoscopic surgery 
Although its incidence has decreased with the widespread use of less invasive surgical techniques including laparoscopic surgery, postoperative ileus remains a common postoperative complication. In the field of urologic surgery, with the major exception of radical cystectomy, few studies have focused on postoperative ileus as a complication of laparoscopic surgery. The present study aims to offer further clues in the management of postoperative ileus following urological laparoscopic surgery through an assessment of the associated risk factors.
The medical records of 267 patients who underwent laparoscopic surgery between February 2004 and November 2009 were reviewed. After excluding cases involving radical cystectomy, combined surgery, open conversion, and severe complications, a total of 249 patients were included for this study. The subjects were divided into a non-ileus group and an ileus group. The gender and age distribution, duration of anesthesia, American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status Classification Score, body mass index, degree of operative difficulty, presence of complications, surgical procedure and total opiate dosage were compared between the two groups.
Of the 249 patients, 10.8% (n = 27) experienced postoperative ileus. Patients with ileus had a longer duration of anesthesia (P = 0.019), and perioperative complications and blood loss were all correlated with ileus (P = 0.000, 0.004, respectively). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that the modified Clavien classification was an independent risk factor for postoperative ileus (odds ratio, 5.372; 95% confidence interval, 2.084 to 13.845; P = 0.001).
Postoperative ileus after laparoscopic urologic surgery was more frequent in patients who experienced more perioperative complications.
PMCID: PMC3204692  PMID: 22066064
Urology; Laparoscopy; Complication; Ileus
4.  Caudal epidural blockade in adolescents 
Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia  2013;7(1):57-60.
Various options are available for the provision of analgesia following major surgical procedures including systemic opioids and regional anesthetic techniques. Regional anesthetic techniques offer the advantage of providing analgesia while avoiding the deleterious adverse effects associated with opioids including nausea, vomiting, sedation and respiratory depression. Although used commonly in infants and children, there is a paucity of experience with the use of caudal epidural blockade in adolescents.
We retrospectively reviewed the perioperative care of adolescents undergoing major urologic or orthopedic surgical procedures for whom a caudal epidural block was placed for postoperative analgesia.
The cohort for the study included 5 adolescents, ranging in age from 13 to 18 years and in weight from 42 to 71 kilograms. Caudal epidural analgesia was accomplished after the induction of anesthesia and prior to the start of the surgical procedure using 20-25 mL of either 0.25% bupivacaine or 0.2% ropivacaine with clonidine (1 μg/kg). The patients denied pain the recovery room. The time to first request for analgesia varied from 12 to 18 hours with the patients requiring 1-3 doses of analgesic agents during the initial 24 postoperative hours.
Our preliminary experience demonstrates the efficacy of caudal epidural block in providing analgesia following major urologic and orthopedic surgical procedures. The applications of this technique as a means of providing postoperative analgesia are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3657927  PMID: 23717234
Caudal epidural block; postoperative pain; regional anesthesia
5.  Liposome bupivacaine (EXPAREL®) for extended pain relief in patients undergoing ileostomy reversal at a single institution with a fast-track discharge protocol: an IMPROVE Phase IV health economics trial 
Journal of Pain Research  2013;6:605-610.
Postoperative opioid use following ileostomy reversal procedures contributes to postoperative ileus. We assessed the impact of a liposome bupivacaine-based, opioid-sparing multimodal analgesia regimen versus a standard opioid-based analgesia regimen on postsurgical opioid use. We also assessed health economic outcomes in patients undergoing ileostomy reversal at our institution, which employs an enhanced recovery discharge protocol.
In this single-center, open-label study, patients undergoing ileostomy reversal received postsurgical pain therapy via multimodal analgesia that included a single intraoperative administration of liposome bupivacaine or opioid-based patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) with intravenous morphine or hydromorphone. Rescue analgesia (intravenous [IV] opioids and/or oral opioid + acetaminophen) was available to all patients. Primary efficacy measures included postsurgical opioid use, hospital length of stay (LOS), and hospitalization costs. Secondary measures included: time to first rescue opioid use; patient satisfaction with analgesia; additional medical intervention; and opioid-related adverse events.
Forty-three patients were enrolled and met eligibility criteria (IV opioid PCA group = 20; liposome bupivacaine-based multimodal analgesia group = 23). Postsurgical opioid use was significantly less in the multimodal analgesia group compared with the IV opioid PCA group (mean [standard deviation]: 38 mg [46 mg] versus 68 mg [47 mg]; P = 0.004). Postsurgical LOS between-group differences (median: 3.0 days versus 3.8 days) and geometric mean hospitalization costs (US $6,611 versus US$6,790) favored the multimodal analgesic group but did not achieve statistical significance. Median time to first opioid use was 1.1 hours versus 0.7 hours in the multimodal analgesia and IV opioid PCA groups, respectively; P = 0.035. Two patients in the multimodal analgesia group and one in the IV opioid PCA group experienced opioid-related adverse events.
A liposome bupivacaine-based multimodal analgesic regimen reduced postoperative opioid consumption in patients undergoing ileostomy reversal under a fast-track discharge protocol. A reduction of 21% in LOS (0.8 days) was noted which, although not statistically significant, may be considered clinically meaningful given the already aggressive fast-track discharge program.
PMCID: PMC3735342  PMID: 23935387
surgery; ileostomy; multimodal analgesia; opioid-related adverse events; hospitalization cost; length of stay
6.  Management of postoperative ileus: focus on alvimopan 
Postoperative ileus (POI) is a transient loss of coordinated peristalsis precipitated by surgery and exacerbated by opioid pain medication. Ileus causes a variety of symptoms including bloating, pain, nausea, and vomiting, but particularly delays tolerance of oral diet and liquids. Thus POI is a primary determinant of hospital stay after surgery. ‘Fast-track’ recovery protocols, opioid sparing analgesia, and laparoscopic surgery reduce but do not eliminate postoperative ileus. Alvimopan is a mu opioid receptor antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids on the intestine, while not interfering with their centrally mediated analgesic effect. Several large randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that alvimopan accelerates the return of gastrointestinal function after surgery and subsequent hospital discharge by approximately 20 hours after elective open segmental colectomy. However, it has not been tested in patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery and is less effective in patients receiving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents in a narcotic sparing postoperative pain control regimen. Safety concerns seen with chronic low dose administration of alvimopan for opioid bowel dysfunction have not been noted with its acute use for POI.
PMCID: PMC2621409  PMID: 19209278
alvimopan; postoperative ileus; gastrointestinal surgery
7.  Effect of intraoperative lidocaine on anesthetic consumption, and bowel function, pain intensity, analgesic consumption and hospital stay after breast surgery 
Korean Journal of Anesthesiology  2012;62(5):429-434.
Perioperative lidocaine infusion improves postoperative outcomes, mostly after abdominal and urologic surgeries. Knowledge of the effect of lidocaine on peripheral surgeries is limited. Presently, we investigated whether intraoperative lidocaine infusion reduced anesthetic consumption, duration of ileus, pain intensity, analgesic consumption and hospital stay after breast plastic surgeries.
Sixty female patients, aged 20-60 years, enrolled in this prospective study were randomly and equally divided to two groups. One group (n = 30) received a 1.5 mg/kg bolus of lidocaine approximately 30 min before incision followed by continuous infusion of lidocaine (1.5 mg/kg/h) until skin closure (lidocaine group). The other group (n = 30) was untreated (control group). Balanced inhalation (sevoflurane) anesthesia and multimodal postoperative analgesia were standardized. End tidal sevoflurane concentration during surgery, time to the first flatus and defecation, visual analog pain scale (0-10), analgesic consumption and associated side effects at 24, 48, and 72 h after surgery, hospital stay, and patient's general satisfaction were assessed.
Compared to the control group, intraoperative lidocaine infusion reduced by 5% the amount of sevoflurane required at similar bispectral index (P = 0.014). However, there were no significant effects of lidocaine regarding the return of bowel function, postoperative pain intensity, analgesic sparing and side effects at all time points, hospital stay, and level of patient's satisfaction for pain control.
Low dose intraoperative lidocaine infusion offered no beneficial effects on return of bowel function, opioid sparing, pain intensity and hospital stay after various breast plastic surgeries.
PMCID: PMC3366309  PMID: 22679539
Analgesic consumption; Anesthetic consumption; Bowel function; Hospital stay; Intravenous lidocaine; Pain score
8.  Comparison of recovery characteristics, postoperative nausea and vomiting, and gastrointestinal motility with total intravenous anesthesia with propofol versus inhalation anesthesia with desflurane for laparoscopic cholecystectomy: A randomized controlled study 
Background:Clinical effects, recovery characteristics, and costs of total intravenous anesthesia with different inhalational anesthetics have been investigated and compared; however, there are no reported clinical studies focusing on the effects of anesthesia with propofol and desflurane in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of total intravenous anesthesia with propofol and alfentanil compared with those of desflurane and alfentanil on recovery characteristics, postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), duration of hospitalization, and gastrointestinal motility.
Methods: Patients classified as American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status I or II undergoing elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy due to benign gallbladder disease were enrolled in the study. Patients were randomly assigned at a 1:1 ratio to receive total intravenous anesthesia with propofol (2–2.5 mg/kg) and alfentanil (20 μg/kg) or desflurane (4%–6%) and alfentanil (20 μg/kg). Perioperative management during premedication, intraoperative analgesia, relaxation, ventilation, and postoperative analgesia were carried out identically in the 2 groups. Extubation time, recovery time, PONV, postoperative antiemetic requirement, time to gastrointestinal motility and flatus, duration of hospitalization, and adverse effects were recorded. Postoperative pain was assessed using a visual analogue scale.
Results: Sixty-eight patients were assessed for inclusion in the study; 5 were excluded because they chose open surgery and 3 did not complete the study because they left the hospital. Sixty patients (33 women, 27 men) completed the study. Recovery time was significantly shorter in the propofol group (n = 30) compared with the desflurane group (n = 30) (8.0 [0.77] vs 9.2 [0.66] min, respectively; P < 0.005). Fifteen patients (50.0%) in the propofol group and 20 patients (66.7%) in the desflurane group experienced nausea during the first 24 hours after surgery. The difference was not considered significant. In the propofol group, significantly fewer patients had vomiting episodes compared with those in the desflurane group (2 [6.7%] vs 16 [53.3%]; P < 0.005). Significantly fewer patients in the propofol group required analgesic medication in the first 24 hours after surgery compared with those in the desflurane group (10 [33.3%] vs 15 [50.0%]; P < 0.005). Patients in the propofol group experienced bowel movements in a significantly shorter period of time compared with patients in the desflurane group (8.30 [1.67] vs 9.76 [1.88] hours; P = 0.02). The mean time to flatus occurred significantly sooner after surgery in the propofol group than in the desflurane group (8.70 [1.79] vs 9.46 [2.09] hours; P = 0.01). The duration of hospitalization after surgery was significantly shorter in the propofol group than in the desflurane group (40.60 [3.49] vs 43.60 [3.56] hours; P = 0.03).
Conclusion: Total intravenous anesthesia with propofol and alfentanil was associated with a significantly reduced rate of PONV and analgesic consumption, shortened recovery time and duration of hospitalization, accelerated onset of bowel movements, and increased patient satisfaction compared with desflurane and alfentanil in these patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery who completed the study.
PMCID: PMC3967343  PMID: 24683221
total intravenous anesthesia; propofol; desflurane; alfentanil; laparoscopic cholecystectomy
9.  Alvimopan for the Management of Postoperative Ileus After Bowel Resection: Characterization of Clinical Benefit by Pooled Responder Analysis 
World Journal of Surgery  2010;34(9):2185-2190.
A pooled post hoc responder analysis was performed to assess the clinical benefit of alvimopan, a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor (PAM-OR) antagonist, for the management of postoperative ileus after bowel resection.
Adult patients who underwent laparotomy for bowel resection scheduled for opioid-based intravenous patient-controlled analgesia received oral alvimopan or placebo preoperatively and twice daily postoperatively until hospital discharge or for 7 postoperative days. The proportion of responders and numbers needed to treat (NNT) were examined on postoperative days (POD) 3–8 for GI-2 recovery (first bowel movement, toleration of solid food) and hospital discharge order (DCO) written.
Alvimopan significantly increased the proportion of patients with GI-2 recovery and DCO written by each POD (P < 0.001 for all). More patients who received alvimopan achieved GI-2 recovery on or before POD 5 (alvimopan, 80%; placebo, 66%) and DCO written before POD 7 (alvimopan, 87%; placebo, 72%), with corresponding NNTs equal to 7.
On each POD analyzed, alvimopan significantly increased the proportion of patients who achieved GI-2 recovery and DCO written versus placebo and was associated with relatively low NNTs. The results of these analyses provide additional characterization and support for the overall clinical benefit of alvimopan in patients undergoing bowel resection.
PMCID: PMC2917559  PMID: 20526599
10.  A comparison of femoral/sciatic nerve block with lateral femoral cutaneous nerve block and combined spinal epidural anesthesia for total knee replacement arthroplasty 
Korean Journal of Anesthesiology  2012;62(5):448-453.
Several factors, such as compromised cardiopulmonary function, anticoagulative therapy, or anatomical deformity in the elderly, prevent general anesthesia and neuraxial blockade from being conducted for total knee replacement arthroplasty (TKRA). We investigated the efficacy of femoral/sciatic nerve block with lateral femoral cutaneous nerve block (FSNB) as an alternative procedure in comparison with combined spinal epidural nerve block (CSE) in patients undergoing TKRA.
In this observational study, 80 American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status I-III patients scheduled for elective unilateral TKRA underwent CSE (n = 40) or FSNB (n = 40). Perioperative side effects, intraoperative medications, duration and remaining amount of intravenous patient-controlled analgesia, rate of satisfaction with the surgical anesthesia and postoperative analgesia, willingness to recommend the same surgical anesthesia and postoperative analgesia to others, and postoperative visual analog scale pain scores were assessed. Statistical analysis was done using Chi-square test, Student's t-test, and repeated-measures analysis of variances.
There was significantly more use of antihypertensives, analgesics, and sedatives in the FSNB group. There were no significant differences of perioperative side effects, duration and remaining amount of intravenous patient-controlled analgesia, rate of satisfaction with the surgical anesthesia and postoperative analgesia, willingness to recommend the same surgical anesthesia and postoperative analgesia to others, and postoperative visual analog scale scores between the two groups.
FSNB with a sophisticated use of antihypertensives, analgesics, and sedatives to supplement insufficient block offers a practical alternative to CSE for TKRAs.
PMCID: PMC3366312  PMID: 22679542
Epidural anesthesia; Femoral nerve; Nerve block; Sciatic nerve; Spinal anesthesia; Total knee replacement
11.  A national survey into perioperative anesthetic management of patients with a fractured neck of femur 
BMC Anesthesiology  2012;12:14.
We made a survey among Finnish anesthesiologists concerning the current perioperative anesthetic practice of hip fracture patients for further development in patient care.
All members of the Finnish Society of Anesthesiologists with a known e-mail address (786) were invited to participate in an internet-based survey.
The overall response rate was 55% (423 responses); 298 respondents participated in the care of hip fracture patients. Preoperative analgesia was mostly managed with oxycodone and paracetamol; every fifth respondent applied an epidural infusion. Most respondents (98%) employed a spinal block with or without an epidural catheter for intraoperative anesthesia. Midazolam, propofol and/or fentanyl were used for additional sedation. General anesthesia was used rarely. Postoperatively, paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and occasionally peroral oxycodone, were prescribed in addition to epidural analgesia.
The survey suggests that the impact of more individualised analgesia regimens, both preoperatively and postoperatively, should be investigated in further studies.
PMCID: PMC3432003  PMID: 22839198
Hip fracture; Perioperative management; Anesthetic practice
12.  Does Regional Anesthesia Improve Outcome After Total Knee Arthroplasty? 
Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is amenable to various regional anesthesia techniques that may improve patient outcome. We sought to answer whether regional anesthesia decreased mortality, cardiovascular morbidity, deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, blood loss, duration of surgery, pain, opioid-related adverse effects, cognitive defects, and length of stay. We also questioned whether regional anesthesia improved rehabilitation. To do so, we performed a systematic review of the contemporary literature comparing general anesthesia and/or systemic analgesia with regional anesthesia and/or regional analgesia for TKA. To reflect contemporary surgical and anesthetic practice, only randomized, controlled trials from 1990 onward were included. We identified 28 studies involving 1538 patients. There was insufficient evidence from randomized, controlled trials alone to conclude if anesthetic technique influenced mortality, cardiovascular morbidity other than postoperative hypotension, or the incidence of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism when using thromboprophylaxis. Our review suggests there was no difference in perioperative blood loss or duration of surgery in patients who received general anesthesia versus regional anesthesia. Compared with general anesthesia and/or systemic analgesia, regional anesthesia and/or analgesia reduced postoperative pain, morphine consumption, and opioid-related adverse effects. Length of stay may be reduced and rehabilitation facilitated for patients undergoing regional anesthesia and analgesia for TKA.
Level of Evidence: Level II, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
PMCID: PMC2866929  PMID: 19130163
13.  Effect of Opiates, Anesthetic Techniques, and Other Perioperative Factors on Surgical Cancer Patients 
The Ochsner Journal  2014;14(2):216-228.
Opioid pharmacotherapy is often used to treat cancer pain. However, morphine and other opioid-like substance use in patients with cancer may have significant adverse consequences, including the suppression of both innate and acquired immune responses. Although studies have examined the possibility that regional anesthesia attenuates the immunosuppressive response of surgery, the effects of morphine and other opioid-related substances on tumor progression remain unknown.
This article presents an evidence-based review of the influence of opioids and anesthetic technique on the immune system in the context of cancer recurrence. The review focuses on the field of regional anesthesia and the setting of surgical oncologic procedures. The method for perioperative pain management and the technique of anesthesia chosen for patients in cancer surgery were explored.
General anesthetics have been indicated to suppress both cell-mediated immunity and humoral immunity. Evidence suggests that intravenous opioids suppress the immune system. However, the mechanisms by which anesthetics and analgesics inhibit the immune system are not understood. Compared with the alternatives, regional analgesia offers reduced blood loss and superior postoperative analgesia. Because of these advantages, the use of regional analgesia has increased in oncologic surgeries.
Immune responses from all components of the immune system, including both the humoral and cell-mediated components, appear to be suppressed by anesthetics and analgesics. The clinical anesthesiologist should consider these factors in the application of technique, especially in cancer surgery.
PMCID: PMC4052589  PMID: 24940132
Analgesics–opioid; anesthetics; immunosuppression; neoplasm
14.  Successful management of unsuspected retroperitoneal paraganglioma via the use of combined epidural and general anesthesia: a case report 
Similar to pheochromocytomas, paragangliomas can secrete catecholamines, although they are usually non-functional and clinical presentation is non-specific. We present a case of accidental, intra-operatively diagnosed neuroendocrine-active sympathetic paraganglioma, which was suspected and confirmed during elective retroperitoneal tumor removal.
Case presentation
A 25-year-old Caucasian Croatian man, American Society of Anesthesiologists status 1, underwent elective surgery for retroperitoneal tumor removal. The tumor had been discovered by chance during a routine examination and was suspected to be a sarcoma. Our patient had no history of previous medical conditions nor did he have symptoms characteristic of a neuroendocrine secreting tumor. The results of ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging studies showed a large, well demarcated retroperitoneal tumor mass in his upper abdomen localized between the aorta and vena cava, measuring approximately 9×6×4.5cm. In the operating room an epidural catheter was inserted at the T7 to T8 level prior to induction of general anesthesia. Epidural analgesia was maintained by an infusion pump with local anesthetic and opiate mixture. During the surgical excision of the tumor, hemodynamic changes occurred, with hypertension (205/110mmHg) and tachycardia (up to 120 beats/minute). In spite of the fact that the surgical field of work did not include adrenal glands whose direct manipulation could explain this occurrence, there was a high degree of suspicion for the presence of a neurosecreting tumor. His clinical symptoms were relieved after administration of urapidil, esmolol and magnesium sulfate. After tumor excision, our patient developed severe hypotension. Hemodynamic stability was reinstated with aggressive volume replacement, with crystalloids and colloids, vasopressors and hydrocortisone. His post-operative course was unremarkable and on the eighth post-operative day our patient was discharged from hospital, with no consequences or symptoms on follow-up two years after surgery.
Our patient’s case emphasizes the need to consider the presence of extra-adrenal paragangliomas in the differential diagnosis of retroperitoneal tumors, despite their rare occurrence. In our patient’s case, invasive hemodynamic monitoring during combined general anesthesia and epidural analgesia and early recognition of catechol-induced symptoms raised suspicion of the existence of a paraganglioma, and this led to an adequate therapeutic approach and favorable outcome of the surgery. Pre-operative recognition of paragangliomas could lead to better pre-operative preparation, but even high clinical suspicion in undiagnosed forms during surgery and the availability of rapid and short-acting vasodilatators, α-blockers and β-blockers might favor good outcome.
PMCID: PMC3599738  PMID: 23448279
Epidural analgesia; Invasive hemodynamic monitoring; Paraganglioma/pheochromocytoma; Therapeutic protocols
15.  A Comparison of 1 Minimum Alveolar Concentration Desflurane and 1 Minimum Alveolar Concentration Isoflurane Anesthesia in Patients Undergoing Craniotomy for Supratentorial Lesions 
A critical point in craniotomy is during opening of the dura and the subsequent potential for cerebral edema. Use of desflurane in neurosurgery may be beneficial because it facilitates early postoperative neurologic evaluation; however, data on the effect of desflurane on intracranial pressure in humans are limited. Isoflurane has been used extensively in neurosurgical patients.
This study compared 1 minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) desflurane with 1 MAC isoflurane in facilitating hemodynamic stability, brain relaxation, and postoperative recovery characteristics in patients who underwent craniotomy for supratentorial lesions.
A total of 70 patients (aged 18–65 years), with American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) 1 or 2 physical status, who underwent craniotomy for supratentorial lesions, were enrolled in the study. For induction of anesthesia, fentanyl (2 μg/kg IV) and propofol (2 mg/kg IV) were administered. Endotracheal intubation was performed after administration of vecuronium (0.1 mg/kg IV) for total muscle relaxation. Before insertion of the skull pins, additional fentanyl (2 μg/kg IV) was administered. Patients were randomly allocated to 1 of 2 anesthetic regimens. For maintenance of anesthesia, 35 patients received 1 MAC of desflurane (group 1) and 35 patients received 1 MAC of isoflurane (group 2) within 50% oxygen in nitrous oxide. Intraoperatively, heart rate (HR) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were measured and recorded before induction and 1 minute after induction, after endotracheal intubation, before skull pin insertion and 1 minute after skull pin insertion, before incision and 1 minute after incision, and before extubation and 1 minute after extubation. Also, HR and MAP were recorded at 30-minute intervals. Postoperatively, extubation time, eye opening time to verbal stimuli, orientation time, and time to reach an Aldrete postanesthetic recovery score of ≥8 were recorded. In addition, opioid consumption was calculated and recorded. Brain relaxation was evaluated according to a 4-step brain relaxation scoring scale. All outcomes of the study were assessed and recorded by an anesthesiologist blinded to the volatile anesthetic gases studied.
No significant difference in HR was observed between the 2 groups. Intraoperative MAP values in group 1 were higher than in group 2 (P < 0.05). No significant difference was found between these groups in brain relaxation and opioid consumption. Extubation time, eye opening time to verbal stimuli, and time to reach an Aldrete score of ≥8 were found to be significantly shorter in patients in group 1 compared with patients in group 2 (P < 0.05).
In patients who underwent craniotomy for supratentorial lesions, patients who received 1 MAC desflurane–based anesthesia had earlier postoperative cognitive recovery and postoperative neurologic examination compared with patients who received 1 MAC isoflurane–based anesthesia. The observed benefits of early recovery from anesthesia, however, should be considered with risks such as higher MAP in patients administered 1 MAC desflurane.
PMCID: PMC3955242  PMID: 24648575
desflurane; hemodynamic stability; isoflurane; neuroanesthesia; postoperative recovery
16.  Morphine Plus Bupivacaine Vs. Morphine Peridural Analgesia in Abdominal Surgery: The Effects on Postoperative Course in Major Hepatobiliary Surgery 
HPB Surgery  2000;11(6):393-399.
Anaesthesia and surgical procedures lead to a reduction of intestinal motility, and opioids may produce a postoperative ileus, that might delay postoperative feeding. The aim of this prospective randomised study is to test whether or not different kinds of epidural analgesia (Group A: morphine 0.00 17 mg/kg/h and bupivacaine 0.125% – 0.058 mg/kg/h; Group B: morphine alone 0.035mg/kg/12h in the postoperative period) allow earlier postoperative enteral feeding, enhance intestinal motility a passage of flatus and help avoid complications, such as nausea, vomiting, ileus, diarrhoea, pneumonia or other infective diseases. We included in the study 60 patients (28 males and 32 females) with a mean age of 61.2 years (range 50–70) and with an ASA score of 2 or 3. All patients had hepato–biliary-pancreatic neoplasm and were candidates for major surgery. We compared two different pharmacological approaches, i.e., morphine plus bupivacaine (30 patients, Group A)versus morphine alone (30 patients, Group B). Each medication was administered by means of a thoracic epidural catheter for the control of postoperative pain. In the postoperative course we recorded every 6 hours peristaltic activity. We also noted morbidity (pneumonia, wound sepsis) and mortality. Effective peristalsis was present in all patients in Group A within the first six postoperative hours; in Group B, after 30 hours. Six patients in Group A had bowel motions in the first postoperative day, 11 in the second day, 10 in the third day and 3 in fourth day, while in Group B none in the first day, two in the second, 7 in the third, 15 in the fourth, and 6 in the fifth: the difference between the two groups was significant (P<0.05 in 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th days). Pneumonia occurred in 2 patients of Group A, and in 10 of Group B (P<0.05).
We conclude that epidural analgesia with morphine plus bupivacaine allowed a move rapid return to normal gut activity and early enteral nutrition compared with epidural analgesia with morphine alone.
PMCID: PMC2424004  PMID: 10977118
17.  Efficacy of thoracic epidural anesthesia for laparoscopic cholecystectomy 
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is performed to minimize the postoperative morbidity and early return to work. This study was planned to evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of thoracic epidural anesthesia for laparoscopic cholecystectomy, so that it can be later used as anesthetic technique in patients when general anesthesia is not feasible.
Materials and Methods:
Forty-eight adult consented patients of ASA grade I and II of either sex scheduled for elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy were enrolled for thoracic epidural anesthesia with 15 ml of 0.75% ropivacaine and 50 μg fentanyl. Intraoperative hemodynamic parameters and respiratory efficiency were recorded. Intra-operatively patient anxiety, pain, vomiting, hypotension or any other adverse event was managed with appropriate drug regime. Postoperative pain management with epidural analgesia, and bowel recovery were also recorded.
The thoracic epidural anesthesia was effective for laparoscopic cholecystectomy in all except in two patients where conversion to general anesthesia was required. The hemodynamic parameters and respiratory efficiency were maintained within physiological limits. Only 4 patients required treatment for hypotension with vasopressor and 15 patients experienced shoulder pain, which was effectively managed with small doses of ketamine. The midazolam was required only in 11 patients for anxiety. The mean surgical time was 56.8±51.6 min. The 24-hour postoperative epidural infusion for analgesia was effective with limited effects on bowel and bladder function. Postoperatively only 3 patients had an episode of vomiting. There was good surgeon and patient's satisfaction.
The thoracic epidural anesthesia with 0.75% ropivacaine and fentanyl for elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy is efficacious and has preserved ventilation and hemodynamic changes within physiological limits during pneumoperitoneum with minimal treatable side effects.
PMCID: PMC4173393
Epidural anesthesia; fentanyl; laparoscopic cholecystectomy; pneumoperitoneum; ropivacaine
18.  Anesthetic implications of laparoscopic surgery. 
Minimally invasive therapy aims to minimize the trauma of any interventional process but still achieve a satisfactory therapeutic result. The development of "critical pathways," rapid mobilization and early feeding have contributed towards the goal of shorter hospital stay. This concept has been extended to include laparoscopic cholecystectomy and hernia repair. Reports have been published confirming the safety of same day discharge for the majority of patients. However, we would caution against overenthusiastic ambulatory laparoscopic cholecystectomy on the rational but unproven assumption that early discharge will lead to occasional delays in diagnosis and management of postoperative complications. Intraoperative complications of laparoscopic surgery are mostly due to traumatic injuries sustained during blind trocar insertion and physiologic changes associated with patient positioning and pneumoperitoneum creation. General anesthesia and controlled ventilation comprise the accepted anesthetic technique to reduce the increase in PaCO2. Investigators have recently documented the cardiorespiratory compromise associated with upper abdominal laparoscopic surgery, and particular emphasis is placed on careful perioperative monitoring of ASA III-IV patients during insufflation. Setting limits on the inflationary pressure is advised in these patients. Anesthesiologists must maintain a high index of suspicion for complications such as gas embolism, extraperitoneal insufflation and surgical emphysema, pneumothorax and pneumomediastinum. Postoperative nausea and vomiting are among the most common and distressing symptoms after laparoscopic surgery. A highly potent and selective 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, ondansetron, has proven to be an effective oral and IV prophylaxis against postoperative emesis in preliminary studies. Opioids remain an important component of the anesthesia technique, although the introduction of newer potent NSAIDs may diminish their use. A preoperative multimodal analgesic regimen involving skin infiltration with local anesthesia. NSAIDs to attenuate peripheral pain and opioids for central pain may reduce postoperative discomfort and expedite patient recovery/discharge. There is no conclusive evidence to demonstrate clinically significant effects of nitrous oxide on surgical conditions during laparoscopic cholecystectomy or on the incidence of postoperative emesis. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy has proven to be a major advance in the treatment of patients with symptomatic gallbladder disease.
PMCID: PMC2578944  PMID: 10604786
19.  Alvimopan Addition to a Standard Perioperative Recovery Pathway 
In this account, addition of alvimopan to a standard perioperative recovery pathway decreased length of stay and incidence of postoperative ileus for elective laparoscopic colectomy.
Background and Objectives:
Alvimopan, a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist, decreased time to gastrointestinal recovery and hospital length of stay in open bowel resection patients in Phase 3 trials. However, the benefit in laparoscopic colectomy patients remains unclear.
A retrospective case series review was performed to study addition of alvimopan to a well-established standard perioperative recovery pathway for elective laparoscopic colectomy. The main outcome measures were length of stay and incidence of charted postoperative ileus. Wilcoxon and chi-square tests were used to calculate P values for length of stay and postoperative ileus endpoints, respectively.
Demographic/baseline characteristics from the 101 alvimopan and 64 pre-alvimopan control patients were generally comparable. Mean length of stay in the alvimopan group was 1.55 days shorter (alvimopan, 2.81±0.95 days; control, 4.36±2.4 days; P<.0001). The proportion of patients with postoperative ileus was lower in the alvimopan group (alvimopan, 2%; control, 20%; P<.0001).
In this case series, addition of alvimopan to a standard perioperative recovery pathway decreased length of stay and incidence of postoperative ileus for elective uncomplicated laparoscopic colectomy. The improvement in the mean length of stay for patients who receive alvimopan is a step forward in achieving a fast-track surgery model for elective laparoscopic colectomies.
PMCID: PMC3340958  PMID: 22643504
Alvimopan; Colectomy; Laparoscopic; Pathway
20.  Controlling postoperative ileus by vagal activation 
Postoperative ileus is a frequently occurring surgical complication, leading to increased morbidity and hospital stay. Abdominal surgical interventions are known to result in a protracted cessation of bowel movement. Activation of inhibitory neural pathways by nociceptive stimuli leads to an inhibition of propulsive activity, which resolves shortly after closure of the abdomen. The subsequent formation of an inflammatory infiltrate in the muscular layers of the intestine results in a more prolonged phase of ileus. Over the last decade, clinical strategies focusing on reduction of surgical stress and promoting postoperative recovery have improved the course of postoperative ileus. Additionally, recent experimental evidence implicated antiinflammatory interventions, such as vagal stimulation, as potential targets to treat postoperative ileus and reduce the period of intestinal hypomotility. Activation of nicotinic receptors on inflammatory cells by vagal input attenuates inflammation and promotes gastrointestinal motility in experimental models of ileus. A novel physiological intervention to activate this neuroimmune pathway is enteral administration of lipid-rich nutrition. Perioperative administration of lipid-rich nutrition reduced manipulation-induced local inflammation of the intestine and accelerated recovery of bowel movement. The application of safe and easy to use antiinflammatory interventions, together with the current multimodal approach, could reduce postoperative ileus to an absolute minimum and shorten hospital stay.
PMCID: PMC2852814  PMID: 20379998
Postoperative ileus; Inflammation; Vagus; Nutritional antiinflammatory pathway
21.  Comparison between analgesic effect of bupivacaine thoracic epidural and ketamine infusion plus wound infiltration with local anesthetics in open cholecystectomy 
Neuraxial blocks result in sympathetic block, sensory analgesia and motor block. Continuous epidural anesthesia through a catheter offers several options for perioperative analgesia. Local anesthetic boluses or infusions can provide profound analgesia. Although the role of low-dose ketamine (<2 mg/kg intramuscular, <1 mg/kg intravenous [IV] or ≤ 20 μg/kg/min by IV infusion) in the treatment of post-operative pain is controversial, perioperative administration of a small dose of ketamine may be valuable to a multimodal analgesic regimen. A local anesthetic can be used for wound infiltration intra-operative to minimized the surgical pain.
Patients and Methods:
A prospective randomized study was performed in which 40 patients scheduled for elective open cholecystectomy under general anesthesia admitted to the Medical Research Institute were included and further subdivided into two groups, group A, received thoracic epidural catheter at T7-8, activation was done 20 min before induction of anesthesia with plain bupivacaine at a concentration of 0.25% at a volume of 1 ml/segment aiming to block sensory supply from T4-L2, then received continuous thoracic epidural infusion intra and postoperatively with plain bupivacaine at a concentration of 0.125% at a rate of 5 ml/h for 24 h, group B received 0.3 mg/kg bolus of ketamine at the time of induction then 0.1 mg/kg/h ketamine IV infusion during surgery followed by wound infiltration with 15 ml of plain bupivacaine 0.5% at the time of skin closure.
Bupivacaine thoracic epidural analgesia had better control on heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure than ketamine infusion plus wound infiltration with local anesthetic in patients undergoing open cholecystectomy.
Thoracic epidural analgesia had better control on hemodynamic changes intra-and postoperatively than ketamine infusion with local wound infiltration in open cholecystectomy.
PMCID: PMC4173628
epidural; ketamine; local anesthetic; wound infiltration
22.  Acute pain management in children 
Journal of pain research  2010;3:105-123.
The greatest advance in pediatric pain medicine is the recognition that untreated pain is a significant cause of morbidity and even mortality after surgical trauma. Accurate assessment of pain in different age groups and the effective treatment of postoperative pain is constantly being refined; with newer drugs being used alone or in combination with other drugs continues to be explored. Several advances in developmental neurobiology and pharmacology, knowledge of new analgesics and newer applications of old analgesics in the last two decades have helped the pediatric anesthesiologist in managing pain in children more efficiently. The latter include administering opioids via the skin and nasal mucosa and their addition into the neuraxial local anesthetics. Systemic opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents and regional analgesics alone or combined with additives are currently used to provide effective postoperative analgesia. These modalities are best utilized when combined as a multimodal approach to treat acute pain in the perioperative setting. The development of receptor specific drugs that can produce pain relief without the untoward side effects of respiratory depression will hasten the recovery and discharge of children after surgery. This review focuses on the overview of acute pain management in children, with an emphasis on pharmacological and regional anesthesia in achieving this goal.
PMCID: PMC3004641  PMID: 21197314
pediatric pain treatment; pain medication in children; pediatric regional anesthesia; pca and pcea in children; epidural additives
23.  High Thoracic Epidural Anesthesia in Cardiac Surgery 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2006;33(2):148-153.
There is an interest in the use of high thoracic epidural anesthesia in cardiac surgery, because experimental and clinical studies have suggested that central neuroaxial blockade attenuates the response to surgical stress and improves myocardial metabolism and perioperative analgesia—thus enabling earlier extubation and a smoother postoperative course.
Matters of major concern in the adoption of high thoracic epidural anesthesia in cardiac surgery are neurologic injury secondary to neuroaxial hematoma and hypotension secondary to sympatholysis. The risk associated with possible neuraxial hematoma caused by high thoracic epidural anesthesia has been thoroughly investigated and largely discounted, but scant attention has been devoted to the onset of hypotensive episodes in the same setting. We analyzed the hypotensive episodes that occurred in a series of 144 patients who underwent on-pump cardiac surgery procedures. Among the patient variables that we tested in a multivariate logistic-regression model, only female sex was found to be significantly correlated with hypotension.
In order to decrease the incidence and severity of hypotensive episodes resulting from anesthetic blockade, anesthesiologists need to monitor, with special care, women patients who are under high thoracic epidural anesthesia. Further studies are needed in order to determine why women undergoing open heart surgery under high thoracic epidural anesthesia are at a relatively greater risk of hypotension.
PMCID: PMC1524708  PMID: 16878616
Analgesia, epidural; anesthesia, epidural; blood pressure; cardiac surgical procedures; heart/innervation; hypotension/chemically induced; sympathetic nervous system/drug effects; vascular resistance/drug effects
24.  Comparison of effects of epidural bupivacaine and intravenous meperidine analgesia on patient recovery following elective abdominal aortic surgery 
The efficacy of epidural anesthesia and analgesia in management of perioperative stress has been established. Perioperative pain management strategies decrease surgical complications and aid recovery. In this study, we aimed to document and compare the efficacy of epidural bupivacaine and intravenous meperidine on recovery of patients with elective abdominal aortic surgery performed under general anesthesia.
Patients undergoing elective abdominal aortic surgery between February 2009 and November 2011 were studied prospectively. Patients were randomized into epidural bupivacaine (n=40) and intravenous meperidine (n=40) groups regarding postoperative analgesia strategy. The preoperative demographic characteristics, perioperative outcomes, postoperative adverse effects of analgesia strategy, time to initiate oral intake, sedation scores, visual analogue scale results, and mobility scores were compared.
The mean ages of the patients were 61.7±8.1 in the epidural group and 59.4±9.7 in the intravenous group (p>0.05). The preoperative demographic characteristics of the patients were comparable between the groups. There were no statistically significant differences between groups regarding anesthesia times, intubation times, intensive care unit stay, hospital length of stay, postoperative vomiting, and postoperative cardiac, renal, and cerebral complications. Postoperative nausea was more prevalent in the meperidine group (p<0.05). In the epidural group, time to begin oral intake was shorter, sedation scores and visual analogue scale results were lower, and mobility scores were higher (p<0.05 each).
Epidural analgesia allowed earlier recovery compared to intravenous analgesia in patients undergoing elective abdominal aortic surgery, but did not affect postoperative outcomes and complications.
PMCID: PMC3659110  PMID: 23666275
anesthesia; epidural; bupivacaine; meperidine; aortic aneurysm; abdominal; peripheral arterial disease; surgical procedures; operative
25.  Reducing Postoperative Opioid Consumption by Adding an Ultrasound-Guided Rectus Sheath Block to Multimodal Analgesia for Abdominal Cancer Surgery With Midline Incision 
Many multimodal analgesia techniques have been tried to provide adequate analgesia for midline incisions extending above and below the umbilicus aiming at limiting the perioperative use of morphine thus limiting side effects. Ultrasound (US) guidance made the anesthesiologist reconsider old techniques for wider clinical use. The rectus sheath block (RSB) is a useful technique under-utilized in the adult population.
Our study examined the efficacy of a preemptive single-injection rectus sheath block in providing better early postoperative pain scores compared to general anesthesia alone.
Patients and Methods:
Sixty patients were recruited in this randomized controlled trial. These patients were divided into two groups: RSB group had an RSB after induction of anesthesia and before surgical incision, and GA (general anesthesia) group had general anesthesia alone. Both groups were compared for verbal analogue scale (VAS) score, opioid consumption and hemodynamic variables in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU). Analgesic requirements in surgical wards were recorded in postoperative days (POD) 0, 1 and 2.
The median VAS score was significantly lower in RSB group compared with GA group in all 5 time points in the PACU (P ˂ 0.05). Also PACU morphine consumption was lower in RSB group than GA group patients (95% confidence interval [CI] of the difference in means between groups, −4.59 to −2.23 mg). Morphine consumption was also less in the first 2 postoperative days (POD0 and POD1).
Ultrasound-guided rectus sheath block is an easy technique to learn. This technique, when it is used with general anesthesia, will be more effective in reducing pain scores and opioid consumption compared with general anesthesia alone.
PMCID: PMC4183078  PMID: 25289373
Nerve Block; Postoperative; Ultrasound; Analgesia; Opioids; Multimodal

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