JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effect on postoperative pain after local application of bupivacaine in the tonsillar fossa; a prospective single blind controlled trial

A A Kadar, M A Obaid
JPMA. the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association 2003, 53 (9): 422-6
14620319

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect on postoperative pain after local application of bupivacaine in the tonsillar fossa.

METHODS: Seventy two patients were recruited in this prospective single blind controlled trial. There were 45 females and 27 males between the ages of 7 and 35 years. After tonsillectomy the right tonsillar fossae (subject fossae) were packed with tonsillar gauze soaked in 2 mls of 0.5% Abbocaine (bupivacaine) solution and kept in situ for five minutes. The left fossae (control fossae) were packed with the similar tonsillar swab soaked in 0.9% normal saline.

RESULTS: The main outcome measure was severity of pain by using visual analogue score. The measurements were taken at various intervals, i.e. after 4 hours, before bed, before breakfast, before lunch and before discharge. The mean post-operative pain scores for the subject fossa after 4 hours, before bed, before breakfast, before lunch and before discharge were 3.09 (+/- 0.85), 3.25 (+/- 0.64), 2.89 (+/- 0.72), 2.47 (+/- 0.67) and 2.37 (+/- 0.57) respectively. The mean post-operative pain scores for control fossa after 4 hours, before bed, before breakfast, before lunch and before discharge were 5.78 (+/- 1.51), 5.50 (+/- 1.29), 4.34 (+/- 1.13), 3.29 (+/- 0.91) and 2.73 (+/- 0.81) respectively. There was significant difference between subject and control fossae scores at all the stages up to discharge of patients, showing better pain relief with bupivacaine.

CONCLUSION: Topical application of bupivacaine to the tonsillar fossa can reduce post-operative pain and facilitate early eating and drinking during the post-operative period.

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