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.
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.
Greek surgical patients; satisfaction; questionnaire; anesthetic management; postoperative analgesia care team
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.
surgery; ileostomy; multimodal analgesia; opioid-related adverse events; hospitalization cost; length of stay
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.
Caudal epidural block; postoperative pain; regional anesthesia
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.
Epidural anesthesia; Femoral nerve; Nerve block; Sciatic nerve; Spinal anesthesia; Total knee replacement
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.
Alvimopan; Colectomy; Laparoscopic; Pathway
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.
Hip fracture; Perioperative management; Anesthetic practice
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.
Postoperative ileus; Inflammation; Vagus; Nutritional antiinflammatory pathway
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.
alvimopan; postoperative ileus; gastrointestinal surgery
Paravertebral block is a popular regional anesthetic technique used for perioperative analgesia in multiple surgical procedures. There are very few randomized trials of its use in laparoscopic cholecystectomy in medical literature. This study was aimed at assessing its efficacy and opioid-sparing potential in this surgery.
Fifty patients were included in this prospective randomized study and allocated to two groups: Group A (25 patients) receiving general anesthesia alone and Group B (25 patients) receiving nerve-stimulator–guided bilateral thoracic Paravertebral Block (PVB) at T6 level with 0.3 ml/kg of 0.25% bupivacaine prior to induction of general anesthesia. Intraoperative analgesia was supplemented with fentanyl (0.5 μg/kg) based on hemodynamic and clinical parameters. Postoperatively, patients in both the groups received Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA) morphine for the first 24 hours. The efficacy of PVB was assessed by comparing intraoperative fentanyl requirements, postoperative VAS scores at rest, and on coughing and PCA morphine consumption between the two groups.
Intraoperative supplemental fentanyl was significantly less in Group B compared to Group A (17.6 μg and 38.6 μg, respectively, P =0.001). PCA morphine requirement was significantly low in the PVB group at 2, 6, 12, and 24 hours postoperatively compared to that in Group A (4.4 mg vs 6.9 mg, 7.6 mg vs 14.2 mg, 11.6 mg vs 20.0 mg, 16.8 mg vs 27.2 mg, respectively; P <0.0001 at all intervals).
Pre-induction PVB resulted in improved analgesia for 24 hours following laparoscopic cholecystectomy in this study, along with a significant reduction in perioperative opioid consumption and opioid-related side effects.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy; opioid-sparing effect; paravertebral block; pre-emptive analgesia
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.
anesthesia; epidural; bupivacaine; meperidine; aortic aneurysm; abdominal; peripheral arterial disease; surgical procedures; operative
A retrospective chart review revealed that patients receiving alvimopan after bowel surgery had faster recovery times, better surgical care, and lower costs of care compared with patients who did not receive the drug.
Postoperative ileus (POI) can delay gastrointestinal (GI) recovery after bowel resection. Alvimopan (Entereg), a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist, is thought to favorably reduce various outcome measures such as the length of stay (LOS) and time from surgery to hospital discharge following partial-bowel, large-bowel, or small-bowel resection surgery with primary anastomosis. We undertook a study to compare these outcome measures in alvimopan-treated patients undergoing laparoscopic or open-bowel resection against a control group. We also sought to determine whether any other factors—Diagnosis-Related Group (DRG) status, complications, inflammatory bowel disease, type of surgery, age, sex, intestinal cancer, diverticular disease, number of chronic conditions, and operative time—were predictive of a more favorable (shorter) time to GI recovery.
Patients’ charts were retrospectively reviewed at a large 591-bed teaching hospital in suburban New York City between June and August 2010. We applied descriptive statistics for five outcome variables to compare alvimopan-treated patients with non-users. The main outcome variable was the time from surgery to hospital discharge. Secondary outcome variables were the time to pass gas, time to a liquid diet, time to a solid diet, and total LOS. We compared the outcome variables for three groups of DRG codes (329, the most complicated cases; 330, intermediate; and 331, least complicated) to determine which variables influenced these outcome measures. Multivariate analysis with stepwise multiple linear regression analysis was performed to determine independent predictors of shorter times of outcome variables.
Of 80 patients, 43 received alvimopan (53.75%), and 37 (46.25%) did not. The female-to-male ratio was about 50:50 (56.25% vs. 43.75%). The mean age (standard deviation) was 66.0 (14.9) years (range, 30–92 years). In the multivariate analysis (adjusted for demographics, DRG status, type of surgery, complications, comorbidities, and operative time), for all of our outcome variables (except for time to a liquid diet), patients receiving alvimopan had shorter times to GI recovery (about 25% less) than controls did (p < 0.05). DRG status, complications, inflammatory bowel disease, type of surgery, and age were also significantly predictive of one or more outcome variables, whereas sex, intestinal cancer, diverticular disease, the number of chronic conditions, and operative time were not predictive of any outcomes.
GI recovery times were generally shorter for alvimopan-treated patients than for those who did not receive the study drug (P < 0.05). Alvimopan improved quality of life and reduced the cost of surgical care. This medication was considered to be a good choice for the perioperative management of patients requiring segmental bowel resection with primary anastomosis.
Postoperative ileus (POI) after open abdominal surgery and bowel resection can lead to significant patient discomfort, morbidity, and prolonged length of stay in the hospital. Several factors have been implicated in the pathophysiology of POI, including surgical manipulation of the bowel, inflammation, inhibitory neural reflexes, and endogenous and exogenous opioids. Alvimopan (Entereg), approved by the FDA to accelerate upper and lower gastrointestinal (GI) recovery following partial large-bowel or small- bowel resection with primary anastomosis, represents a potential advance in the care of these patients. In five randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 clinical trials, alvimopan, compared with placebo, accelerated the time to GI recovery and hospital discharge status after bowel resection. In this article, we review the formulary details of alvimopan for in-hospital management of POI following this procedure.
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
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.
Postoperative ileus (POI) is a predictable delay in gastrointestinal (GI) motility that occurs after abdominal surgery. Probable mechanisms include disruption of the sympathetic/parasympathetic pathways to the GI tract, inflammatory changes mediated over multiple pathways, and the use of opioids for the management of postoperative pain. Pharmacologic treatment of postoperative ileus continues to be problematic as most agents are unreliable and unsubstantiated with robust clinical trials. The selective opioid antagonist alvimopan has shown promise in reducing POI, but needs more rigorous investigation. Clinician interventions proven to be of benefit include laparoscopy, thoracic epidural anesthesia, avoidance of opioids, and early feeding. Early ambulation may also contribute to early resolution of POI; however, routine nasogastric decompression plays no role and may increase complications. Multimodal care plans remain the mainstay of treatment for POI.
Postoperative ileus; motility; postoperative patient care; postoperative stay
Epidural opioids acting through the spinal cord receptors improve the quality and duration of analgesia along with dose-sparing effect with the local anesthetics. The present study compared the efficacy and safety profile of epidurally administered butorphanol and fentanyl combined with bupivacaine (B).
Materials and Methods:
A total of 75 adult patients of either sex of American Society of Anesthesiologist physical status I and II, aged 20-60 years, undergoing lower abdominal under epidural anesthesia were enrolled into the study. Patients were randomly divided into three groups of 25 each: B, bupivacaine and butorphanol (BB) and bupivacaine + fentanyl (BF). B (0.5%) 20 ml was administered epidurally in all the three groups with the addition of 1 mg butorphanol in BB group and 100 μg fentanyl in the BF group. The hemodynamic parameters as well as various block characteristics including onset, completion, level and duration of sensory analgesia as well as onset, completion and regression of motor block were observed and compared. Adverse events and post-operative visual analgesia scale scores were also noted and compared. Data was analyzed using ANOVA with post-hoc significance, Chi-square test and Fisher's exact test. Value of P < 0.05 was considered significant and P < 0.001 as highly significant.
The demographic profile of patients was comparable in all the three groups. Onset and completion of sensory analgesia was earliest in BF group, followed by BB and B group. The duration of analgesia was significantly prolonged in BB group followed by BF as compared with group B. Addition of butorphanol and fentanyl to B had no effect on the time of onset, completion and regression of motor block. No serious cardio-respiratory side effects were observed in any group.
Butorphanol and fentanyl as epidural adjuvants are equally safe and provide comparable stable hemodynamics, early onset and establishment of sensory anesthesia. Butorphanol provides a significantly prolonged post-operative analgesia.
Bupivacaine; butorphanol; epidural anesthesia; fentanyl; lower abdominal surgery
The obese patient presents many challenges to both anesthesiologist and surgeon. A good understanding of the pathophysiologic effects of obesity and its anesthetic implications in the surgical setting is critical. The anesthesiologist must recognize increased risks and comorbidities inherent to the obese patient and manage accordingly, optimizing multisystem function in the perioperative period that leads to successful outcomes. Addressed from an organ systems approach, the purpose of this review is to provide surgical specialists with an overview of the anesthetic considerations of obesity. Minimally invasive surgery for the obese patient affords improved analgesia, postoperative pulmonary function, and shorter recovery times at the expense of a more challenging intraoperative anesthetic course. The physiologic effects of laparoscopy are discussed in detail. Although laparoscopy's physiologic effects on various organ systems are well recognized, techniques provide means for compensation and reversing such effects, thereby preserving good patient outcomes.
Obesity; anesthesia; laparoscopy; surgery
Anesthesiologists can offer much more then stable blood pressure and heart rate in the intraoperative period. By choosing appropriate anesthetic techniques they can tremendously influence perioperative stress. This may positively impact on the overall surgical outcome. One of the most intriguing aspects of neuraxial anesthesia is its ability to attenuate the stress response to surgery.
At present there is no agreement on the clinical importance of such a response but there is substantial indirect evidence that it may play an important role in a patient’s outcome. Neuraxial anesthesia supplemented by general anesthesia is justified and can be safely used in cardiac surgery.
The authors of this expert opinion prefer spinal anesthesia to thoracic epidural anesthesia and have been using it routinely for the last 20 years without any neurological complications. The risk of spinal hematoma from a 27G spinal needle prior to full heparinization is unknown but in our opinion is remote. Both epidural and spinal techniques can and should have a place in modern cardiac anesthesia practice and should be further investigated.
spinal; epidural; neuraxial; cardiac surgery; anesthesia; outcome; mortality; complication
Regional anesthesia is an established method to provide analgesia for patients in the operating room and during the postoperative phase. While regional anesthesia offers unique advantages, as shown by the recent military experience, it is not commonly utilized in the prehospital or emergency department setting. Most often, regional anesthesia techniques for traumatized patients are first utilized in the operating room for procedural anesthesia or for postoperative pain control. While infiltration or single nerve block procedures are often used by surgeons or emergency medicine physicians in the preoperative phase, more advanced techniques such as plexus block procedures or regional catheter placements are more commonly performed by anesthesiologists for surgery or postoperative pain control. These regional techniques offer advantages over intravenous anesthesia, not just in the perioperative phase but also in the acute phase of traumatized patients and during the initial transport of injured patients. Anesthesiologists have extensive experience with regional techniques and are able to introduce regional anesthesia into settings outside the operating room and in the early treatment phases of trauma patients.
Postoperative Ileus (POI) is a frequent, frustrating occurrence for patients and surgeons after abdominal surgery. Despite significant research investigating how to reduce this multi-factorial phenomenon, a single strategy has not been shown to reduce POI’s significant effects on length of stay (LOS) and hospital costs. Perhaps the most significant cause of POI is the use of narcotics for analgesia. Strategies that target inflammation and pain reduction such as NSAID use, epidural analgesia, and laparoscopic techniques will reduce POI but are accompanied by a simultaneous reduction in opioid use. Pharmacologic means of stimulating gut motility have not shown a positive effect, and the routine use of nasogastric tubes only increases morbidity. Recent multi-site phase III trials with alvimopan, a peripherally acting mu-antagonist, have shown significant reductions in POI and LOS by 12 and 16 hours, respectively, by blunting the effects of narcotics on gut motility while sparing centrally mediated analgesia. Use of alvimopan, along with a multi-modal postoperative treatment plan involving early ambulation, feeding, and avoiding nasogastric tubes, will likely be the crux of POI treatment and prevention.
postoperative ileus; alvimopan; abdominal surgery
Magnesium sulfate has been used in preeclampsia patients in order to prevent seizure. It is also used for the treatment of arrhythmia and asthma and as an anesthetic adjunct in patients undergoing surgery for pheochromocytoma. However, its potentiating effects on perioperative analgesia and muscle relaxation have drawn attention recently. These characteristics of magnesium (anesthetic- and analgesic-sparing effect) enable anesthesiologists to reduce the use of anesthetics during surgery and the use of analgesics after surgery. Magnesium sulfate has a high therapeutic index and cost-effectiveness. Considering these diverse characteristics useful for anesthesia, appropriate use of magnesium sulfate would improve surgical outcome and patients' satisfaction.
Analgesia; Magnesium; Magnesium sulfate; Muscle relaxation
Emergence delirium (ED) although a short-lived and self-limiting phenomenon, makes a child prone to injury in the immediate postoperative period and hence is a cause of concern not only to the pediatric anesthesiologist, surgeons, and post anesthesia care unit staff but also amongst parents. Additional medication to quieten the child offsets the potential benefits of rapid emergence and delays recovery in day care settings. There is conflicting evidence of influence of analgesia and sedation following anesthesia on emergence agitation. We hypothesized that an anesthetic technique which improves analgesia and prolongs emergence time will reduce the incidence of ED. We selected ketamine as adjuvant to caudal block for this purpose.
This randomized, double blind prospective study was performed in 150 premedicated children ASA I, II, aged 2 to 8 years who were randomly assigned to either group B (caudal with bupivacaine), BK (bupivacaine and ketamine), or NC (no caudal), soon after LMA placement. Recovery characteristics and complications were recorded.
Emergence time, duration of pain relief, and Pediatric Anesthesia Emergence Delirium (PAED) scores were significantly higher in the NC group (P<0.05). Duration of analgesia and emergence time were significantly more in group BK than groups B and NC. However, the discharge readiness was comparable between all groups. No patient in BK group required to be given any medication to treat ED.
Emergence time as well as duration of analgesia have significant influence on incidence of emergence delirium. Ketamine, as caudal adjuvant is a promising agent to protect against ED in children, following sevoflurane anesthesia.
Caudal; delerium; emeregence; ketamine; pediatric
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) has traditionally been performed under general anesthesia, however, owing in part to the advancement of surgical and anesthetic techniques, many laparoscopic cholecystectomies have been successfully performed under the spinal anesthetic technique. We hoped to determine the feasibility of segmental epidural anesthesia for LC.
Twelve American Society of Anesthesiologists class I or II patients received an epidural block for LC. The level of epidural block and the satisfaction score of patients and the surgeon were checked to evaluate the efficacy of epidural block for LC.
LC was performed successfully under epidural block, with the exception of 1 patient who required a conversion to general anesthesia owing to severe referred pain. There were no special postoperative complications, with the exception of one case of urinary retention.
Epidural anesthesia might be applicable for LC. However, the incidence of intraoperative referred shoulder pain is high, and so careful patient recruitment and management of shoulder pain should be considered.
Epidural anesthesia; Laparoscopic cholecystectomy; Referred pain
Epidural anesthesia is widely used to provide pain relief, whether for surgical anesthesia, postoperative analgesia, treatment of chronic pain, or to facilitate painless childbirth. In many cases, however, the epidural catheter is inserted blindly and the indwelling catheter position is almost always uncertain.
In this study, the loss-of-resistance technique was used and an imaging agent was injected through the indwelling epidural anesthesia catheter to confirm the position of its tip and examine the migration rate. Study subjects were patients scheduled to undergo surgery using general anesthesia combined with epidural anesthesia. Placement of the epidural catheter was confirmed postoperatively by injection of an imaging agent and X-ray imaging.
The indwelling epidural catheter was placed between upper thoracic vertebrae (n = 83; incorrect placement, n = 5), lower thoracic vertebrae (n = 123; incorrect placement, n = 5), and lower thoracic vertebra-lumbar vertebra (n = 46; incorrect placement, n = 7). In this study, a relatively high frequency of incorrectly placed epidural catheters using the loss-of-resistance technique was observed, and it was found that incorrect catheter placement resulted in inadequate analgesia during surgery.
Although the loss-of-resistance technique is easy and convenient as a method for epidural catheter placement, it frequently results in inadequate placement of epidural catheters. Care should be taken when performing this procedure.
epidural anesthesia; iotrolan; pain; postoperative; radiography
Current trends in orthopaedic surgery have explored different forms of adjuvant treatments to minimize postoperative pain and the risk of nausea and vomiting. A small single preoperative dose of dexamethasone, as part of a comprehensive multimodal analgesic regimen in low-risk patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA), provides antiemetic and opioid-sparing effects but the longer-term effects on pain, complications, or function are not known. We therefore asked whether such a routine would affect longer-term pain, complications, or function. Fifty patients undergoing elective primary THA using spinal anesthesia were initially randomized to receive either dexamethasone (40 mg intravenous) or saline placebo. The patients, anesthesiologists, nurses, and research coordinators were blinded to the study arms. The functional outcome was measured using the Harris hip score. Outcomes were assessed 6 weeks and 1 year postoperatively. We observed no difference in resting pain between the two groups at either time period. Both groups had similar functional outcome scores for the total Harris hip score and individual scoring items at each followup interval. There were no wound complications, deep infections, or osteonecrosis in the contralateral hip at 1-year followup. We recommend the addition of a small single preoperative dose of dexamethasone to a comprehensive multimodal analgesic regimen in low-risk patients given its immediate antiemetic and opioid-sparing effects, and absence of subsequent effects.
Level of Evidence: Level II, therapeutic study (prospective comparative study). See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.