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Anaesthesia. 2018 Oct;73(10):1260-1264. doi: 10.1111/anae.14424. Epub 2018 Aug 18.

A randomised trial of serratus anterior plane block for analgesia after thoracoscopic surgery.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Kangwon National University School of Graduate Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.


We evaluated the effect of pre-operative serratus anterior plane block on postoperative pain and opioid consumption after thoracoscopic surgery. We randomly allocated 89 participants to block with 30 ml ropivacaine 0.375% (n = 44), or no block without placebo or sham procedure (n = 45). We analysed results from 42 participants in each group. Serratus anterior plane block reduced mean (SD) remifentanil dose during surgery, 0.12 (0.06) mg.h-1 vs. 0.16 (0.06) mg.h-1 , p = 0.016, and reduced mean (SD) fentanyl consumption in the first 24 postoperative hours, 3.8 (1.9) μ vs. 5.7 (1.6) μ , p = 0.000004. Block also reduced the worst median (IQR [range]) pain scores reported in the first 24 postoperative hours: 6 (5-7 [3-10]) vs. 7 (6-7 [3-10]), p = 0.027. Block decreased dissatisfaction with pain management, categorised as 'highly unsatisfactory', 'unsatisfactory', 'neutral', 'satisfactory' or 'highly satisfactory': 1/2/21/18/0 vs. 1/14/15/11/1, p = 0.0038. There were no differences in the rates of nausea, vomiting, dizziness or length of hospital stay. Serratus anterior plane block may be used to reduce pain and opioid use after thoracoscopic lung surgery.


nerve block: serratus anterior plane block; pain management: thoracoscopic surgery; ultrasonography: thorax

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