Randomized controlled trial to examine the influence of thoracic epidural analgesia on postoperative ileus after laparoscopic sigmoid resection

Authors

  • J. Neudecker,

    1. Department of General, Visceral, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Humboldt University of Berlin, Charité Campus Mitte, Schumannstrasse 20/21, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
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  • Dr W. Schwenk,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of General, Visceral, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Humboldt University of Berlin, Charité Campus Mitte, Schumannstrasse 20/21, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
    • Department of General, Visceral, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Humboldt University of Berlin, Charité Campus Mitte, Schumannstrasse 20/21, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
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  • T. Junghans,

    1. Department of General, Visceral, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Humboldt University of Berlin, Charité Campus Mitte, Schumannstrasse 20/21, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
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  • S. Pietsch,

    1. Department of General, Visceral, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Humboldt University of Berlin, Charité Campus Mitte, Schumannstrasse 20/21, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
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  • B. Böhm,

    1. Department of General, Visceral, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Humboldt University of Berlin, Charité Campus Mitte, Schumannstrasse 20/21, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
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  • J. M. Müller

    1. Department of General, Visceral, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Humboldt University of Berlin, Charité Campus Mitte, Schumannstrasse 20/21, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
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Abstract

Background:

The aim of the study was to evaluate whether perioperative epidural analgesia had any effect on the duration of postoperative ileus after laparoscopic sigmoid resection.

Methods:

Twenty patients were randomized to surgery either with (group 1; n = 10) or without (group 2; n = 10) thoracic epidural analgesia. The major endpoint of the study was the time to the first postoperative bowel movement. Secondary endpoints were the interval until oral feeding was tolerated, incidence of postoperative vomiting, postoperative analgesic consumption use of patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) until the fourth day after operation, subjective pain perception and the incidence of epidural-related side-effects.

Results:

Age, sex and American Society of Anesthesiologists classification were similar in the two groups. The first bowel movement was documented after a median of 54 (95 per cent confidence interval 32–127) h in group 1 and 77 (31–99) h in group 2 (P = 0·8). Oral feeding without additional parenteral therapy was tolerated after 48 (40–64) h in group 1 and after 56 (48–64) h in group 2 (P = 0·6). Postoperative vomiting occurred in two patients from each group. During epidural therapy the use of PCA was lower in group 1 (0·30 (0·19–0·96) mg morphine per kg) than in group 2 (0·56 (0·37–0·80) mg/kg) (P < 0·05). Postoperative pain perception during rest and while coughing was similar in both groups. Three patients experienced reversible side-effects of epidural therapy (motor deficit, two patients; bladder dysfunction, one).

Conclusion:

Perioperative thoracic epidural analgesia did not have a clinically relevant effect on the duration of postoperative ileus after laparoscopic sigmoid resection. © 1999 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd

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