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Randomised prospective study of using intraoperative, intraincisional and intraperitoneal ropivacaine for the early discharge of post-laparoscopic cholecystectomy patients as a day case in a cost-effective way in government setup of low-income and middle-income countries: Opening new horizons

Abstract

Background Pain is the main reason for staying overnight at hospital after an uncomplicated laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Objectives A randomised prospective study was planned to compare the efficacy of intraincisional and intraperitoneal use of 0.2% ropivacaine so that patients undergoing an uncomplicated laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be discharged as a day case in a cost-effective way.

Methods 191 patients were operated by elective four-port laparoscopic cholecystectomy. They were randomised into three groups after triple blinding according to location of 0.2% ropivacaine use. All patients were given ~23 mL of solution (drug or normal saline depending on the group), 20 mL of which was given at intraperitoneal location and ~1 mL/cm of incision intraincisionally. Pain scores (Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) and Faces Pain Scale-Revised (FPS-R)) were evaluated at 4 and 8 hours postoperatively. Only those patients with a VAS ≤3, NRS ≤3 and FPS-R ≤2, no requirement of rescue analgesia, no shoulder pain, ambulated at least once, passed urine and taking oral sips were offered discharge as a day case.

Results 31% of patients in intraperitoneal group (n=62) could be discharged as a day case as compared with 48% in intraincisional group (n=68) (p>0.05) and 89% in combined group (n=61) (p<0.05, with respect to both other groups).

Conclusion The combined use of intraincisional and intraperitoneal ropivacaine is a cost-effective way of discharging approximately 9 in 10 patients as a day case. This study is unique as this is the first study in which only a local anaesthetic has been used to predict discharges as a day case.

  • ropivacaine
  • local anaesthetic
  • intraincisional infiltration
  • intraperitoneal instillation
  • post-operative pain
  • day case surgery
  • ambulatory surgery

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