The efficacy of epidural analgesia after video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery: a randomized control study.

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is known to reduce the severity of pain after surgery. However, it has not yet been established whether epidural anesthesia/analgesia (EA) is necessary after VATS. We therefore conducted a randomized control study to examine whether or not EA is necessary for pain control after VATS.
Forty-six patients undergoing VATS were randomly allocated to one of 2 groups: 24 who were given EA after the procedure (EA group) and 22 who were not (NEA group). Patients in the EA group received a continuous infusion of fentanyl and bupivacaine via an epidural catheter for 2 days after VATS. The degree of postoperative pain was assessed on the total dose of additional analgesics administered, a visual analog scale (VAS), a verbal pain score at rest (VPS-R) and on movement (VPS-M), from the day of surgery to the 2nd postoperative day (2 POD).
Additional use of rectal diclofenac sodium and intramuscular pentazocine was more frequent in the NEA group than in the EA group (p<0.05). The VAS, VPS-R, and VPS-M scores were significantly lower in the EA group than in the NEA group at 0 POD, from 0 to 1 POD, and from 0 to 2 POD, respectively (p<0.0001-0.05). Stepwise regression analysis revealed that EA was a significant independent variable of VPS-R and VPS-M from 0 to 1 POD (p<0.05). However, the incidence of nausea/vomiting in the EA group was 29%, which was more frequent than in the NEA group (5%) (p<0.05).
While EA causes nausea/vomiting in some patients, it is effective for pain control until 1 POD after VATS, especially for pain on movements.
AuthorsMasakazu Yoshioka, Takeshi Mori, Hironori Kobayashi, Kazunori Iwatani, Kentaro Yoshimoto, Hidenori Terasaki, Hiroaki Nomori
JournalAnnals of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery : official journal of the Association of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons of Asia (Ann Thorac Cardiovasc Surg) Vol. 12 Issue 5 Pg. 313-8 (Oct 2006) ISSN: 1341-1098 [Print] Japan
PMID17095972 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Randomized Controlled Trial)
Chemical References
  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Fentanyl
  • Bupivacaine
  • Analgesia, Epidural (methods)
  • Analgesics, Opioid (administration & dosage)
  • Anesthetics, Local (administration & dosage)
  • Bupivacaine (administration & dosage)
  • Catheterization
  • Fentanyl (administration & dosage)
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Injections, Epidural
  • Lung Neoplasms (surgery)
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative (therapy)
  • Pneumonectomy (methods)
  • Postoperative Care (methods)
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted
  • Treatment Outcome

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