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Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int. 2013 Jun;12(3):310-6.

Double-blind randomized sham controlled trial of intraperitoneal bupivacaine during emergency laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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  • 1Department of Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, United Kingdom.



Intraperitoneal local anesthesia (IPLA) during elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy (el-LC) decreases post-operative pain. None of the studies have explored the efficacy of IPLA at emergency laparoscopic cholecystectomy (em-LC). A longer operative duration, the greater frequency of washing, and the inflammation associated with cholecystitis or pancreatitis are a few reasons why it cannot be assumed that a benefit in pain scores will be seen in em-LC with IPLA. This study was undertaken to assess the efficacy of IPLA in patients undergoing em-LC.


Double-blind randomized sham controlled trial was conducted of 41 consecutive subjects undergoing em-LC. IPLA was delivered by a combination of injection to the diaphragmatic and topical wash over the liver and gallbladder with bupivacaine or saline. The primary outcome was visual analogue scale pain scores until discharge. Secondary outcomes included pain scores in theatre recovery and analgesic consumption.


One patient had a procedure converted to open and was excluded. There was no significant difference in pain scores in the ward or theatre recovery. Analgesic use, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, duration to ambulation, eating, satisfaction scores, and time to discharge were comparable between the two groups.


IPLA during em-LC does not influence postoperative pain. Other modalities of analgesia should be explored for decreasing the interval between diagnosis of acute admission and em-LC.

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