Efficacy of Local Anesthetic With Dexamethasone on the Quality of Recovery Following Total Extraperitoneal Bilateral Inguinal Hernia Repair: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Bryan Sakamoto, Gene Harker, Andrew C Eppstein, Kenneth Gwirtz
JAMA Surgery 2016 December 1, 151 (12): 1108-1114

Importance: Quality of recovery (directly associated with patient satisfaction) is an important clinical outcome measurement and a surrogate of anesthetic/surgical care quality.

Objectives: To compare the efficacy of a transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block with dexamethasone sodium phosphate and preperitoneal instillation of local anesthetic (PILA) with dexamethasone vs control on postoperative quality of recovery following a bilateral total extraperitoneal inguinal hernia repair (TEP-IHR) (>24 hours). Secondary objectives included efficacy of this technique on postoperative opioid use, nausea and vomiting, and pain scores.

Design, Setting, and Participants: Conducted from November 2013 to August 2015, this randomized, prospective, single-blinded study compared 2 groups (a TAP block and PILA) with a standard anesthetic technique with no regional technique (control) following bilateral TEP-IHR. This study at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Indianapolis, Indiana) included patients ages 18 to 80 years with an American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status of 1 to 3 scheduled for an outpatient bilateral TEP-IHR. Nurses assigning pain scores and administrating opioids for pain and staff anesthesiologists administering the Quality of Recovery-40 (QoR-40) questionnaire were blinded.

Interventions: Patients randomized to receive a TAP block with local anesthetics and dexamethasone, PILA with dexamethasone, or no regional technique (3 groups).

Main Outcomes and Measures: Patient's response to the QoR-40 questionnaire following a TEP-IHR surgery.

Results: The mean (SD) ages in the TAP block (n = 19), PILA (n = 24), and control (n = 23) groups were 58.2 (9.4) years, 62.5 (8.1) years, and 62.9 (7.8) years, respectively. The global QoR-40 scores on postoperative day 1 for the TAP block group (median [interquartile range (IQR)], 178 [173-188]) were comparable with the control group (median [IQR], 174 [150-181]), while the PILA group had better global QoR-40 scores (median [IQR], 184 [175.5-190.75]) (P = .002). The effects of the TAP block and PILA on pain in the postoperative care unit (PACU) (median [IQR], 1 [0-5] and 3.5 [0-6.8], respectively), pain after discharge (median [IQR], 3 [2-5] and 3 [1-5.5], respectively), opiate use after discharge (median [IQR], 6.7 [5-10] and 6.7 [3.3-10], respectively), and incidence of nausea and vomiting in the PACU (4 of 19 [21.1%] and 6 of 24 [25%], respectively) were not significantly different from the control group (median [IQR], 4 [3-6] for pain scores in the PACU; 4 [3-7] for pain scores after discharge; 6.7 [3.3-10] for opioid use after discharge; and 6 of 23 [26.1%] for incidence of nausea/vomiting in the PACU). While there was a significant reduction of opioid use in the PACU in the TAP block group (median [IQR], 0 [0-1.3]) when compared with the control group (median [IQR], 4 [1.3-6.7]) (P = .001), this was not seen in the PILA group (median [IQR], 2 [0-6.4]).

Conclusions and Relevance: This study demonstrates a better quality of recovery in patients' receiving PILA with dexamethasone compared with control for a TEP-IHR surgery.

Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT02036983.

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