Background and aims Erector spinae plane block (ESPB) is an interfascial plane block that has been proven to be effective for pain control in thoracic and abdominal surgery. This is a small case series in which ESPB was used as a combined technique in patients undergoing to video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS).
Methods We performed an ultrasound guided ESPB after induction and prior to surgery incision with 40 ml of ropivacaine 0.375% at T5-T6 level. During surgery we recorded the dose of opioids administered and, in the postoperative period, pain assessment was performed using the numeric rating scale (NRS) at 2, 6, 12 and 24 hours. Additionally, the opioids given postoperatively were registered.
Results A total of 7 patients were recorded in this study. During surgery, pain control was achieved through EPSB and opioid was administered only for induction of anesthesia, except for one patient who required opioid administration throughout the surgery due to a probably unaccomplished technique. In the postoperative period, analgesia was supplemented with paracetamol, metamizole and/or ketorolac and the maximum NRS score was 8 at 2h in one patient. In four cases pain management was accomplished with a rescue dose of opioid. No complications related to the block were seen.
Conclusions In general, with ESPB we have achieved an adequate control of pain during the intraoperative and postoperative period, allowing a reduction of the administered opioid dose. With this in mind, we consider that this technique to be a good option to be incorporated in a multimodal analgesic scheme for analgesic control in patients submitted to VATS.