JAMA Surg 2015 Jul 8. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2015.1530.
Authors: Gough AE et al
Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair (LVHR) using mesh is a well-established intervention for ventral hernia, but pain control can be challenging.
To determine whether instillation of a long-acting local anesthetic between the mesh and the peritoneum after LVHR reduces pain or narcotic requirements.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:
A prospective, double-blind, randomized clinical trial with data collection during a brief hospital stay in a tertiary care, community teaching hospital over 3 years between December 15, 2011, and March 28, 2014. Of 120 screened patients undergoing LVHR in this intention-to-treat analysis, 99 eligible patients were randomized. Forty-two patients received the study drug, and 38 patients received placebo. Patients with a history of chronic narcotic use were excluded.
After mesh placement, a long-acting local anesthetic (bupivacaine hydrochloride, 0.50%) or placebo (0.9% normal saline) was injected between the mesh and the peritoneum.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:
Postoperative pain (on a standard scale ranging from 0 to 10), and narcotic medication use (intravenous morphine equivalents). There were no adverse events.
Baseline and operative characteristics were similar except that the treatment group was older (61.8 vs 52.3 years, P = .001). After surgery, pain scores in the recovery room (3.2 vs 4.7, P = .003), interval total narcotic use (6.7 vs 12.5 mg, P = .003 at <4 hours and 0 vs 2.7 mg, P = .01 at 8-12 hours), and total intravenous narcotic use (9.2 vs 17.2 mg of morphine sulfate equivalents, P = .03) were significantly less in the treatment group.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:
Administration of a long-acting local anesthetic between the mesh and the peritoneum significantly reduces postoperative pain and narcotic use after LVHR.