Study objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of bilateral ultrasound guided thoracic paravertebral catheters to a thoracic epidural after open pancreatic surgery. Design: This was a prospective non-blinded randomized controlled trial. Setting: Academic hospital operating room, postoperative recovery area, and ward. Patients: 53 patients aged 18 and above who had open pancreatic surgery. Interventions: Patients received either bilateral thoracic paravertebral block at T8 with an infusion of 0.2% ropivacaine or thoracic epidural analgesia at T7/8 with an infusion of 0.125% bupivacaine with hydromorphone 6 μg/mL. Measurements: Pain scores, opioid use, length of recovery room and hospital stay, adverse events, and incidence of nausea and vomiting. Main results: There was no difference in baseline demographics between the two groups. There were no significant differences in pain scores between the two groups in each of the first five days after surgery. There was no difference in length of stay nor nausea and vomiting. There was significantly less modality related adverse events in the paravertebral group compared to the epidural group (p = 0.02). Conclusions: The use of thoracic paravertebral catheters provided comparable analgesia and less modality related adverse events when compared to a thoracic epidural in patients undergoing open pancreaticoduodenectomy.
- Acute pain
- Nerve block