Intraperitoneal application of bupivacaine plus morphine for pain relief after laparoscopic cholecystectomy

J Hernández-Palazón, J A Tortosa, V Nuño de la Rosa, J Giménez-Viudes, G Ramírez, R Robles
European Journal of Anaesthesiology 2003, 20 (11): 891-6

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Intraperitoneal administration of a local anaesthetic in combination with an opioid, for the relief of postoperative pain, has already been reported except after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This study was aimed at assessing the analgesic effect of the intraperitoneal administration of bupivacaine and morphine in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

METHODS: At the end of laparoscopic cholecystectomy, in a double-blind, randomized manner, one of the following injections was given intraperitoneally. There were 30 patients in each group: Group 1, physiological saline 30 mL; Group 2, bupivacaine 0.25% 30 mL; Group 3, bupivacaine 0.25% 30 mL plus morphine 2 mg. In addition, Group 2 received 2 mg intravenous (i.v.) morphine in 2 mL saline, and Groups 1 and 3, 2 mL saline intravenously. Patients' postoperative pain was evaluated using a visual analogue scale and a verbal rating score. The postoperative analgesic requirement was assessed by the total dose of metamizol administered by an i.v. patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) device. Pain, vital signs, supplemental analgesic consumption and side-effects were recorded for all patients for 24 h.

RESULTS: There were no differences between the three groups regarding pain scores (at rest and coughing) during the study except in the first 2 h, when scores were lower for patients receiving intraperitoneal bupivacaine plus i.v. morphine (P < 0.05). Supplemental consumption of metamizol was significantly lower (P < 0.05) in Group 3 than in Group 1 during the first 6 h after surgery. However, the cumulative doses of metamizol were also lower in Group 2 than in Groups 1 and 3 over the entire study (2025 +/- 1044 mg vs. 4925 +/- 1238 and 4125 +/- 1276mg; P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: In patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the intraperitoneal administration of morphine plus bupivacaine 0.25% reduced the analgesic requirements during the first 6 postoperative hours compared with the control group. However, the combination of intraperitoneal bupivacaine 0.25% and i.v. morphine was more effective for treatment of pain after laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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