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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 584-589

Paravertebral block can be an alternative to unilateral spinal anaesthesia for inguinal hernia repair

Department of Anaesthesiology, North Bengal Medical College, Sushrutanagar, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
M C Mandal
Department of Anaesthesiology, North Bengal Medical College, Sushrutanagar 734 012, Darjeeling, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5049.90613

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Background: Inguinal hernia repair can be performed under satisfactory anaesthetic conditions using general, regional and peripheral nerve block anaesthesia. Unilateral spinal anaesthesia provides optimal anaesthesia, with stable haemodynamics and minimal adverse events. The paravertebral block, being segmental in nature, can be expected to produce some advantages regarding haemodynamic stability and early ambulation and may be a viable alternative. Methods: Fifty-four consenting male patients posted for inguinal hernia repair were randomized into two groups, to receive either the two-segment paravertebral block (group-P, n=26) at T10 and L1 or unilateral spinal anaesthesia (group-S, n=28), respectively. The time to ambulation (primary outcome), time to the first analgesic, total rescue analgesic consumption in the first 24-hour period and adverse events were noted. Results: Block performance time and time to reach surgical anaesthesia were significantly higher in the patients of group-P (P<0.001). Time to ambulation was significantly shorter in group-P compared to group-S (P<0.001), while postoperative sensory block was prolonged in patients of group-S; P<0.001. A significantly higher number of patients could bypass the recovery room in group-P compared to group-S, (45% versus 0%, respectively, P<0.001). No statistically significant difference in adverse outcomes was recorded. Conclusion: Both the paravertebral block and unilateral spinal anaesthesia are effective anaesthetic techniques for uncomplicated inguinal hernia repair. However, the paravertebral block can be an attractive alternative as it provides early ambulation and prolonged postoperative analgesia with minimal adverse events.

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