Is Opioid-Free General Anesthesia More Superior for Postoperative Pain Versus Opioid General Anesthesia in Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy?

Marija Toleska, Aleksandar Dimitrovski
Prilozi (Makedonska Akademija Na Naukite i Umetnostite. Oddelenie za Medicinski Nauki) 2019 October 1, 40 (2): 81-87

INTRODUCTION: Opioid-free anesthesia (OFA) is a new anesthesiological technique, where the giving of opioids (fentanyl) is avoided in the intra- and post-operative period. This leads to reduction in the opioid-related side effects and lower pain scores in the postoperative period.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this randomized, single-blind clinical study, 60 patients scheduled for elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy were enrolled. Half of them (30 patients) received general balanced anesthesia with fentanyl (F group-FG), and the half received opioid-free general anesthesia (OFA group-OFAG). In the post-operative period, Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scores were followed at rest and when coughing 1 hour, 4 hrs, 8 hrs, 12 and 24 hrs after surgery. Both groups were followed by opioid requirements in the postoperative period.

RESULTS: In the postoperative period, patients in the fentanyl group (FG) have higher pain scores at rest and on coughing in all analyzed timeframes compared to patients from the OFA group, but statistically significant difference was approved 1 and 24 hours after surgery. In the OFA group 24 hours after surgery none of the patients reported pain at rest and when coughing number 7, 8, 9 and 10 according to the VAS pain score. The total opioid requirement in the postoperative period was significantly higher in the fentanyl group (FG) at rest and when coughing, compared to the OFA group.

CONCLUSION: Opioid-free anesthesia as a part of multimodal analgesia and a new anesthesiology technique is a safe procedure, where opioid-related negative effects in patients undergoing elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy are avoided..

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