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Lack of Postoperative Pain Relief After Hysterectomy Using Preperitoneally Administered Bupivacaine
  1. Billy B. Kristensen, M.D.,
  2. Dorte S. Christensen, M.D.,
  3. Mette Østergaard, M.D.,
  4. Karen Skjelsager, M.D.,
  5. Dorte Nielsen, M.D. and
  6. Torben S. Mogensen, M.D., Ph.D.
  1. From the Departments of Anesthesiology, Acute Pain Service, and Gynecology, Hvidovre University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Background and Objectives. It is well known that would infiltration with local anesthetic can reduce postoperative pain in various degrees and with very few side effects. A previous study showed better analgesic effect when local anesthetic was applied in the subfascial, rather than the subcutaneous, layer. The present study investigated the effect of frequent bolus injections of bupivacaine (15 mL 2.5 mg/mL) preperitoneally through catheters placed intraoperatively in women who had undergone hysterectomy.

Methods. Postoperative pain and analgestic requirements were studied in a double-blind randomized trial including 41 patients. During surgery, the patients were randomized to one of two groups, and the investigators were blinded. Prior to closure of the peritoneum, the surgeon placed a catheter between the muscle layer and the peritoneum on each side of the wound. One group (n = 22) received bupivacaine (15 mL 2.5 mg/mL) every 4 hours for 48 hours via each catheter starting in the operating room. The placebo group (n = 19) received saline in a like manner. Postoperative pain was evaluated using a visual analog scale (VAS) and verbal rating scale (VRS) twice a day for 2 days at rest and on movement. Requirements of supplementary analgesics were monitored, as was wound infection after discharge.

Results. Bupivacaine administered preperitoneally did not improve analgesia at rest, during coughing, or during mobilization compared with saline. No difference between the groups was found regarding analgesic requirements. No complications of postoperative wound healing or toxic side effects were seen.

Conclusion. Bolus injections of bupivacaine through intraoperative placed catheters did not improve analgesia postoperatively compared with saline injections.

  • local anesthetics
  • bupivacaine
  • preperitoneally
  • postoperative pain.

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