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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 750-755

Comparison of postoperative analgesia and opioid requirement with thoracic epidural vs. continuous rectus sheath infusion in midline incision laparotomies under general anaesthesia – A prospective randomised controlled study

1 Department of Anaesthesia, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, Punjab, India
2 Department of Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nandita Gupta
House No. 1487, Azad Nagar, Dhuri Line, Ludhiana - 141003, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ija.IJA_976_19

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Background and Aims: To assess and compare the effect of bilateral continuous rectus sheath infusion (CRSB) for postoperative analgesia with continuous thoracic epidural infusion (TEA) in patients undergoing midline incision laparotomies. Methods: A prospective, randomised study involving sixty patients with Indian Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grade I to III, planned for elective laparotomy were enrolled for the study. Patients were randomly allocated into two groups. In the TEA group, an epidural was sited before induction of general anaesthesia (GA), whereas in the CRSB group, bilateral ultrasound-guided RSB catheters were placed at the end of the surgical procedure, before extubation. Both groups received continuous 0.2% Ropivacaine infusion for postoperative analgesia. They were followed for two post-operative days (POD), for the opioid requirement and post-operative pain at rest, coughing, and moving. Age and body mass index (BMI) were compared using independent t-test and visual analogue scale (VAS) scores were compared by the Mann–Whitney test between the two groups. Opioid consumption, gender, and type of surgery were compared using the Chi-Square test. Statistical analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 21.0). Results: Opioid consumption in both groups was comparable, for the first two post-operative days with no statistically significant difference. Pain scores were comparable among the groups at all times except postoperative day (POD) 0 (4 h and 12 h postop) and POD 2 (8 AM and 12 PM), where lower pain scores were observed in CRSB Group. Conclusions: As a part of the multimodal analgesia technique, CRSB offers a reliable, safe, and effective alternative to TEA.

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