Preincisional infiltration of tonsils with ropivacaine in post-tonsillectomy pain relief: double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled intraindividual study

Osman Kursat Arikan, Saziye Ozcan, Mustafa Kazkayasi, Serpil Akpinar, Can Koc
Journal of Otolaryngology 2006, 35 (3): 167-72

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether pre-emptive ropivacaine has an influence on postoperative pain in adult patients undergoing tonsillectomy.

DESIGN: A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

SETTING: University hospital.

PATIENTS: The study included 20 adult patients undergoing elective tonsillectomy. Anesthetic induction and maintenance, dissection tonsillectomy, hemostasis techniques, and postoperative analgesic treatment were standardized for all patients. Before the onset of incision, one tonsillar fossa was administered 5 mL of 2% ropivacaine hydrochloride with epinephrine, whereas the other side received 5 mL of 0.9% saline with epinephrine and was designated as the control side.

MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURES: For each side, postoperative pain, otalgia, operating time, amount of intraoperative blood loss, and postoperative hemorrhage were assessed. The intensity of postoperative pain was measured at rest and when the patient was drinking and was scored on a visual analogue scale. The patients were followed up for 10 days after surgery.

RESULTS: There was no statistically significant difference in the amount of intraoperative hemorrhage and operation time between sides (p > .05). The constant postoperative pain in the ropivacaine side at rest was significantly less than in the placebo side on days 1, 2, 5, and 6 (p < .05). The post-tonsillectomy pain experienced in the ropivacaine side when swallowing was significantly less than that in the placebo side throughout the study period except on day 10 (p < .05).

CONCLUSION: Based on the present findings, preincisional infiltration of ropivacaine 2% appears to be effective against both early and late postoperative pain, especially on swallowing, following tonsillectomy in adults.

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