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Transmuscular quadratus lumborum block for total laparoscopic hysterectomy: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial


Background The population of patients scheduled for total laparoscopic hysterectomy at our surgical center is heterogeneous concerning a multitude of demographic variables such as age, collateral surgery and malign or benign pathogenesis. A common denominator is moderate to severe postoperative pain and a substantial opioid consumption. A recent procedure specific postoperative pain management (PROSPECT) review found no gain from the regional techniques included. The transmuscular quadratus lumborum (TQL) block has shown promising results in recent trials for other types of surgery. The aim of the current study was to investigate the analgesic efficacy of the ultrasound-guided TQL block for total laparoscopic hysterectomy.

Methods We enrolled 70 patients and randomly allocated participants to preoperative bilateral ultrasound-guided TQL block with either 60 mL 0.375% ropivacaine or 60 mL isotonic saline. Preoperatively, all patients received the TQL block (active or placebo) as well as a standardized multimodal analgesic regimen consisting of oral paracetamol, ibuprofen and dexamethasone. Intraoperatively, intravenous sufentanil 0.2 µg/kg was administered 30 min prior to emergence.

Primary outcome Opioid consumption during the first 12 postoperative hours.

Secondary outcomes Pain scores, times to first opioid demand and first ambulation, nausea and vomiting, and total opioid consumption during the first 24 postoperative hours.

Results No significant intergroup differences were observed for any outcome. Mean (SD) oral morphine equivalent consumption the first 12 postoperative hours was 58.4 mg (48.3) vs 62.9 mg (48.5), p=0.70, for group ropivacaine versus group saline.

Conclusion Preoperative bilateral ultrasound-guided TQL block did not reduce opioid consumption after total laparoscopic hysterectomy.

Trial registration numbers NCT 03650998, EudraCT (2017-004593-34).

  • anesthesia
  • local
  • pain management
  • ultrasonography

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