Paracetamol reduces postoperative pain and rescue analgesic demand after robot-assisted endoscopic thyroidectomy by the transaxillary approach

Jeong-Yeon Hong, Won Oak Kim, Woong Youn Chung, Joo Sun Yun, Hae Keum Kil
World Journal of Surgery 2010, 34 (3): 521-6

BACKGROUND: Postoperative pain following endoscopic thyroidectomy, although less severe than after open methods, is still a source of marked discomfort and surgical stress. This clinical trial was conducted to determine if repeated intravenous paracetamol could decrease postoperative pain and rescue analgesic requirements after robot-assisted endoscopic thyroidectomy via the transaxillary approach.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This prospective, randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled study enrolled 124 women 21-60 years of age who were scheduled for elective gasless robot-assisted endoscopic thyroidectomy via the transaxillary approach. The patients were given placebo or 1 g of paracetamol as a 100 ml solution infused over 15 min 1 h before the induction of anesthesia, and then at 6-h intervals for the following 24 h.

RESULTS: Postoperative pain scores were significantly lower at 1, 3, 6, and 24 h after surgery in the paracetamol group than in the placebo group. Significantly fewer patients in the paracetamol group received rescue analgesics compared to the placebo group (9.5% vs. 65.6%, respectively). First analgesic time was similar in the two groups. Postoperative nausea (44.3% vs. 22.2%) and vomiting (21.3% vs. 6.3%) were more frequent in the placebo group than in the paracetamol group. Other postoperative side effects, including sedation, confusion, and pruritus, were similar in the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS: We concluded that repeated administration of 1 g of intravenous paracetamol over 24 h is easy, effective, safe, and well tolerated for pain management in patients with moderate to severe postoperative pain after gasless robot-assisted endoscopic thyroidectomy performed via the transaxillary approach.

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