The efficacy of bupivacaine with adrenaline in reducing pain and bleeding associated with breast reduction: a prospective trial

N G Metaxotos, O Asplund, M Hayes
British Journal of Plastic Surgery 1999, 52 (4): 290-3
In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the effect of preoperative local anaesthesia vasoconstrictor infiltration on peri- and postoperative bleeding and postoperative pain was evaluated in 24 consecutive patients undergoing breast reduction. After the induction of general anaesthesia, one breast was infiltrated with a solution of bupivacaine with adrenaline and the other with the same amount of normal saline solution simultaneously. The perioperative blood loss was calculated by weighing swabs, and postoperative drainage was measured at 3, 24 and 48 h by using suction drains. Postoperative pain was assessed using visual analogue scales and verbal response scores at 3, 6, 10 and 24 h post-infiltration. There was a reduction in perioperative blood loss in the breast infiltrated with bupivacaine and adrenaline (P < 0.01). The mean blood loss in the drains from the infiltrated breasts was also less than that from the control sides at 3 and 24 h post-infiltration (P < 0.05). Pain was significantly less (P < 0.01) at 3 h on the local anaesthetic side. At 6, 10 and 24 h, pain tended to be less on the local anaesthetic side, but this did not reach statistical significance. No major complications were seen. Our results confirm a beneficial effect of bupivacaine with adrenaline on peri- and postoperative bleeding as well as in the early postoperative phase of pain.

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