BACKGROUND: Although laparoscopic surgeries are associated with reduced surgical stress response and shortened post-operative recovery, intense pain and high analgesia requirements in the immediate post-operative period are often the chief complaints.
AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of pre-emptive intraperitoneal local anaesthetic drugs on post-operative pain management and metabolic stress response in laparoscopic appendicectomy.
METHOD: The method used was a randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled study. Patients with clinical diagnosis of acute appendicitis who fulfil the criteria, were taken into this study. Primary outcomes investigated were consumption of patient-controlled analgesia during the immediate post-operative period (first 6 h) and subsequent 18 h as well as serum cortisol sampling.
RESULTS: Total of 120 patients were recruited into three different treatment groups (placebo, ropivacaine, levobupivacaine). In order to maintain visual analogue score of 0-1 during the immediate post-operative period, patients in the placebo group required significantly (P < 0.001) higher dose of analgesia (morphine/mg) - 11 mg (8.3-15.5) as compared with ropivacaine - 4 mg (3.0-6.0) and levobupivacaine - 3.5 mg (2.0-5.0). The immediate post-operative serum cortisol showed a significant increase in serum cortisol in the placebo group (P = 0.001) as compared with ropivacaine and levobupivacaine groups.
CONCLUSION: Pre-emptive intraperitoneal local anaesthesia in laparoscopy surgery is a safe, non-invasive procedure that can benefit patients by reducing the immediate post-operative pain intensity and metabolic stress response of the body.