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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2008 October;63(5):335-9

language: Italian

New intraoperative therapeutic approach to control post-thoracotomy pain in patients who underwent main resection due to lung neoplasm

Salvemini S. 1,2

1 Unità Operativa di Chirurgia Toracica Ospedale Mazzini, Teramo, Italia
2 Scuola di Specializzazione in Chirurgia Toracica Università degli Studi dell’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italia


Aim. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an incisional infusion of local anesthetics through a continuous-infusion elastomeric pump for the management of postoperative pain after thoracotomy.
Methods. A comparative analysis of 40 patients undergoing thoracotomies was carried out. Postoperative pain management with a continuous-infusion elastomeric pump providing local anesthetic into the incisional area was compared with traditional values. Data sources were reviewed for mean narcotic use, pain score, and complications.
Results. After thoracotomy procedures, 20 patients received the ON-Q Pain Relief System (I-Flow Corp, Lake Forest, CA, USA). Narcotic use and pain scores were significantly reduced in the ON-Q group. There were no wound healing complications or infections associated with the use of the pump.
Conclusion. A continuous infusion of ropivacaine at 4 mL/h through the ON-Q elastomeric infusion pump is a safe and effective adjunct in postoperative pain management after thoracotomy. The use of the ON-Q Pain Relief System results in decreased narcotic use and lower pain scores.

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