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Eur J Anaesthesiol. 1998 May;15(3):342-4.

Efficacy of thoracic epidural analgesia following laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Tsukuba Institute of Clinical Medicine, Japan.


This study was undertaken to determine whether epidural analgesia has any benefit for post-operative pain relief in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Patients were randomly assigned to receive post-operative epidural analgesia with a morphine-bupivacaine combination (Group A, n = 22) or placebo (saline) (Group B, n = 22). The same standard general anaesthetic technique, which consists of nitrous oxide and isoflurane in oxygen was used. Analgesia was assessed using visual analogue pain scores (0-10 cm). The evaluation was carried out 24 and 48 h post-operatively. At 24 h after anaesthesia, pain scores in Group A (2.3 +/- 1.2) were lower than those in Group B (4.4 +/- 1.5) (P < 0.05). However, at 48 h post-operatively, no difference in scores was observed between the two groups. In conclusion, epidural analgesia with a morphine-bupivacaine combination improves pain relief during the first 24 h following laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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