Objective. Surgical excision of hemorrhoids is characterized by a prolonged and painful postoperative course. This double-blind, randomized, prospective, controlled trial was conducted to determine if morphine sulfate provides additional pain relief after stapled hemorrhoidopexy when added to a standard lidocaine spinal anesthetic. It was hypothesized that the addition of morphine sulfate to a spinal anesthetic would decrease postoperative pain.
Interventions. Thirty-four patients were randomized prospectively to receive a spinal block with either lidocaine or lidocaine plus morphine sulfate. Patients were followed postoperatively for 42 days to record Numeric Pain Scale (NPS) values and to record analgesic use. Patients also filled out a Short Form 36 (SF-36) Health Survey Questionnaire preoperatively and at days 3, 14, and 28 after their operation to assess physical and mental well-being. Longitudinal mixed models were used to determine whether there was a difference in maximum pain, average pain, narcotic analgesic use, and physical or mental well-being over time.
Results. No group differences were found in maximum or average NPS, analgesic use, mental well-being, or time to complete pain relief. There was a four-point difference in mean scores for physical well-being, favoring the lidocaine plus morphine group.
Conclusions. This study provides evidence that intrathecal morphine sulfate does not significantly alter postoperative pain, narcotic use, or well-being when used as preemptive analgesia for patients undergoing stapled hemorrhoidopexy.