Abdominoplasty is a common procedure for anatomical restoration of lower abdominal skin with a continuously increasing annual number of procedures performed. The significance of postoperative pain management is of crucial importance in patient’s perspective and also to ensure the achievement of aimed clinical outcome. We evaluated the efficacy of local pain pump catheters on massive weight loss patients undergoing body-contouring abdominoplasty.
Primary abdominoplasty procedures after massive weight loss performed from 2009 until 2014 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were divided into two groups according to the use of pain pump catheter (PPC). The primary outcome measure was the amount of opioid use calculated as morphine equivalents. Secondary outcome measures were the length of hospital stay (LOS) and early postoperative complications within 30 days of surgery.
A total of 61 patients were included in the study: 24 patients in PPC group and 37 patients in conventional abdominoplasty analgesia (CAA) group. No significant differences between the study groups were found in respect to demographics, operative time and resection weight. A significantly decreased use of opioids was observed after using PPC versus control (14.0 ± 13.9 mg vs 74.6 ± 73.3 mg, p < 0.001). Similarly, the length of hospital stay was shorter among the pain pump group (3.1 ± 1.1 days vs 3.8 ± 1.0 days, p = 0.023). There was a similar rate of complications in both groups (45.8 % vs 40.5 %, p = 0.622). The most common complication was seroma formation (25.0 % vs 18.5 %, p = 0.315).
The use of local anesthetic pain catheters in abdominoplasty may be associated with a decreased use of opioids and might result in a shorter hospital stay on massive weight loss patients. Further studies are needed to validate this treatment modality.