Postoperative pain relief and regional techniques

S Reiz
Annales Chirurgiae et Gynaecologiae 1984, 73 (3): 166-70
The methods of providing postoperative analgesia by regional anaesthetic techniques with local anaesthetics are outlined. For the use of epidural analgesia, the techniques of inserting an epidural catheter at any level of the spine must be familiar. The block should be regional, restricted to the area of pain and effective at all times after its institution with a minimum of side effects. Bupivacaine is at present the best local anaesthetic and can be administered either as intermittent injections with an interval of 1-2 hours or as a continuous infusion. A dose regimen for thoracic, abdominal, perineal and lower extremity pain is presented. Side effects of the epidural technique and ways to treat and avoid them are discussed. The intercostal nerve block for post-thoracotomy and upper abdominal pain is described with special reference to the recent development of the continuous technique with bupivacaine and the cryoanalgesia technique.

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