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Anaesthesia. 2002 Dec;57(12):1168-73.

Use of intrathecal morphine for postoperative pain relief after elective laparoscopic colorectal surgery.

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Department of Anaesthesiology, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, Chai Wan, Hong Kong.


Laparoscopic surgery has become popular in recent years, but few studies have addressed analgesia for this type of surgery. We conducted a prospective double-blind randomised trial on 36 cases of laparoscopic colorectal surgery to determine the influence of intrathecal morphine on postoperative pain relief. All patients received a subarachnoid block with local anaesthetic in addition to general anaesthesia. One group also received intrathecal morphine. A patient-controlled analgesic (PCA) device was prescribed for pain control postoperatively and the visual analogue score (VAS) was used for pain assessment. The group who received intrathecal morphine used significantly less morphine. There were no adverse cardiovascular effects of the combined anaesthetic technique. Nausea and vomiting remained the main side-effect of intrathecal morphine but this was easily treated with anti-emetics.

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