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Am J Transplant. 2011 Jan;11(1):93-100. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2010.03358.x.

Efficacy and safety of continuous local infusion of ropivacaine after retroperitoneoscopic live donor nephrectomy.

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Department of Surgical Sciences, Section of Transplantation Surgery, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.


Morphine-based analgesia is effective but can compromise donor safety. We investigated whether continuous infusion of local anesthetics (CILA) can provide sufficient pain control and reduce morbidity related to opiate analgesics after hand-assisted retroperitoneoscopic (HARS) live donor nephrectomy. Forty consecutive live kidney donors underwent HARS and were treated with the ON-Q system providing CILA with 0.5% ropivacaine through two SilvaGard catheters placed in the retroperitoneal cavity and the rectus sheath, respectively. The case control group consisted of 40 donors matched with regard to sex, age, BMI and surgical technique. All donors were maintained on standardized multimodal analgesia combining nurse-controlled oxycodone treatment and acetaminophen. CILA donors had lower median cumulative consumption of morphine equivalents (CCME) (7 mg [0-56] vs. 42 mg [15-127]; p < 0.0000001), lower incidence of nausea (18 [45%] vs. 35 [87.5%] donors; p < 0.001), shorter time in postoperative care unit (160 vs. 242.5 min; p < 0.001) and shorter hospital stay (4 [4-7] vs. 6 [4-11] days; p < 0.001). In 32.5% of CILA donors the CCME was 0 mg (0% in matched control group, p < 0.001). CILA with 0.5% ropivacaine provides effective postoperative pain relief, reduces the need for opioid treatment and promotes postoperative recovery.

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