Year : 2017  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 427-431

Postoperative pain management in patients undergoing thoracoscopic repair of pectus excavatum: A retrospective analysis of opioid consumption and adverse effects in adolescents

1 Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital; Department of Anesthesiology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
2 Department of Pediatric Surgery, Nationwide Children's Hospital; Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
3 Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA
4 Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Joseph D Tobias
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital, 700 Children's Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sja.SJA_339_17

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Introduction: Although the Nuss procedure provides excellent cosmetic results for the correction of pectus excavatum, the provision of analgesia following such procedures can be challenging. Methods: The current study retrospectively reviews our experience over a 2.5 year period with thoracic epidural analgesia (TE), paravertebral blockade (PVB), and intravenous opioids delivered via patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) to provide postoperative analgesia. Results: The study cohort included 30 patients (mean age = 15.6 ± 1.5 years), 15 of whom were treated with PCA, 8 with TE, and 7 with PVB. There were no significant differences in pain scores between the 3 groups at any time point during the first 3 postoperative days. Compared to PCA, the PVB group had lower opioid consumption over the first 24 hours of hospitalization by 1.7 mg/kg morphine equivalents (95% CI of difference: 0.1, 3.3; p=0.035); but had higher opioid consumption by 2.0 mg/kg morphine equivalents than the TE group (95% CI of difference: 0.3, 3.7; p=0.024). There were no differences in opioid consumption between PVB and PCA or between PVB and TE at 48 or 72 hours. The number of intraoperative hypotension episodes was significantly lower in the PCA group when compared to the PVB group (p=0.001), with no difference between the PVB and TE groups. Conclusions: The use of regional anesthesia should be considered a viable option for the relief of postoperative pain in pediatric patients following the Nuss procedure albeit with a higher incidence of intraoperative hemodynamic effects. A randomized, prospective, study powered to compare all 3 techniques against one another would be necessary to confirm the significance of these findings.

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