Objective: Circumcision is a commonly performed surgical procedure but choice of anesthesia remained an issue of research and debate. This study was conducted to find out the effectiveness of the eutectic mixture of local anesthetic (EMLA) cream with dorsal penile nerve block (DPNB) using lignocaine, for reduction of pain during circumcision.
Methodology: This was comparative study carried out in Surgical Unit B of National Institute of Child Health Karachi, from May 2008 to October 2008. Patients under six month of age were randomized in to two groups (EMLA and DPNB) of fifty patients each. The effectiveness of pain control was assessed by measuring the baseline heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR) and Neonatal infant Pain Scale (NIPS scale) before the start of procedure and measuring of these parameters for each step of circumcision. Independent sample t -test was used to compare means and repeated ANOVA was used to compare means of HR, RR, oxygen (O2) saturations and NIPS.
Results: The mean age in both the groups was 2.3 months. There was no statistically significant difference in baseline parameters in both the groups except the respiratory rate, which was significantly raised in DPNB group (33 breaths/min in EMLA and 38 in DPNB P < 0.04). During circumcision there was significant increase in heart rate in DPNB group, especially in step three and step four (p < 0.04). Oxygen saturation dropped in both the groups (baseline saturation 98% up to 91% in step 4). While assessing NIPS scores in both the groups, statistically significant difference was found between NIPS at step two and step four in two groups (p < 0.04).
Conclusions: The overall pain control was equal in both the groups, although NIPS score was higher in DPNB in step two and four of circumcision. There was difference in application and cost. EMLA was easy to apply but has increased cost; while DPNB required expertise.