Complications associated with interpleural block are often related to difficulty with needle and catheter placement. Thus there exists need for refinement of the puncture technique. We present our initial experience identifying the interpleural space with a new electronic detector (Episensor®, Palex, Spain) that is sensitive to negative pressure. Twenty-five patients undergoing cholecystectomy (subcostal incision), nephrectomy or mastectomy were included in the study. All patients had an interpleural catheter placed after completion of surgery, but before extubation, using the Episensor®. The technique was successful in all cases. The mean time from needle insertion to taping the catheter to the skin was 6.3 ± 3.6 minutes. No patient developed a pneumothorax. Four patients (16%) complained of chest pain during the interpleural injection of radiopaque medium. Pain relief during the 48-hour observation period was good. Supplemental analgesia was required in nine nephrectomy patients. We believe the Episensor® may be a valuable adjunct to the initiation of interpleural anesthesia.
- Anesthetic techniques
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