Peritonsillar infiltration with bupivacaine and pethidine for relief of post-tonsillectomy pain: a randomised double-blind study

R Nikandish, B Maghsoodi, S Khademi, S Motazedian, R Kaboodkhani
Anaesthesia 2008, 63 (1): 20-5
Previous studies of infiltration of local anaesthetics in children undergoing tonsillectomy resulted in conflicting results. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the peritonsillar injection of bupivacaine and pethidine on postoperative pain in children undergoing snare-dissection tonsillectomy. In a double-blind study, 80 children (aged 7-15 years) were randomly divided into two groups receiving peritonsillar injection of either bupivacaine (1 mg x kg(-1)) and pethidine (1 mg x kg(-1)) in adrenaline 1:200,000 (treatment group) or an equivalent volume of saline (placebo group) pre-operatively. The time needed for first demand of analgesia and analgesic consumption to reduce the visual analogue scale (VAS) for resting throat pain to < or = 30, the VAS for pain on swallowing, drinking liquid and eating a soft diet, incidence of nausea and vomiting, and the need for rescue anti-emetics in the first 24 h after operation were compared in both groups. The combination of bupivacaine and pethidine could significantly decrease the consumption of analgesics for resting pain at 4, 6, 8, 12, and 24 h after operation but did not reduce pain on swallowing, drinking liquid and eating a soft diet. The times to demand of first dose of analgesic and to first oral intake were not significantly different. The overall satisfaction of patients in relation to relief of postoperative pain was not significantly different between the two groups. Although peritonsillar injection of pethidine and bupivacaine in children reduces the analgesic consumption, it does not affect the dynamic pain state in the first 24 h after snare-dissection tonsillectomy.

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