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Clinical Trial
. 2018 Oct;61(10):1205-1216.
doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000001177.

Intraperitoneal Local Anesthetic Instillation and Postoperative Infusion Improves Functional Recovery Following Colectomy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Clinical Trial

Intraperitoneal Local Anesthetic Instillation and Postoperative Infusion Improves Functional Recovery Following Colectomy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Jaime A Duffield et al. Dis Colon Rectum. .


Background: Intraperitoneal local anesthetic is an analgesic technique for inclusion in the polypharmacy approach to postoperative pain management in enhanced recovery after surgery programs. Previously, augmentation of epidural analgesia with intraperitoneal local anesthetic was shown to improve functional postoperative recovery following colectomy.

Objective: This study determines whether intraperitoneal local anesthetic improves postoperative recovery in patients undergoing colectomy, in the absence of epidural analgesia, with standardized enhanced recovery after surgery perioperative care.

Design: This is a multisite, double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial ( Identifier NCT02449720).

Settings: This study was conducted at 3 hospital sites in South Australia.

Patients: Eighty-six adults undergoing colectomy were stratified by approach (35 open; 51 laparoscopic), then randomly assigned to intraperitoneal local anesthetic (n = 44) and control (n = 42) groups.

Interventions: Patients in the intraperitoneal local anesthetic group received an intraoperative intraperitoneal ropivacaine 100-mg bolus both pre- and postdissection and 20 mg/h continuous postoperative infusion for 48 hours. Patients in the control group received a normal saline equivalent.

Main outcome measures: Functional postoperative recovery was assessed by using the surgical recovery scale for 45 days; postoperative pain was assessed by using a visual analog scale; and opioid consumption, use of rescue ketamine, recovery of bowel function, time to readiness for discharge, and perioperative complications were recorded.

Results: The intraperitoneal local anesthetic group reported improved surgical recovery scale scores at day 1 and 7, lower pain scores, required less rescue ketamine, and passed flatus earlier than the control group (p < 0.05). The improvement in surgical recovery scale at day 7 and pain scores remained when laparoscopic colectomy was considered separately. Opioid consumption and time to readiness for discharge were equivalent.

Limitations: This study was powered to detect a difference in surgical recovery scale, but not the other domains of recovery, when the intraperitoneal local anesthetic group was compared with control.

Conclusions: We conclude that instillation and infusion of intraperitoneal ropivacaine for patients undergoing colectomy, including by the laparoscopic approach, decreases postoperative pain and improves functional postoperative recovery. We recommend routine inclusion of intraperitoneal local anesthetic into the multimodal analgesia component of enhanced recovery after surgery programs for laparoscopic colectomy. See Video Abstract at

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