Objective: To compare the efficiency of laparoscopically guided transversus abdominis plane block (LTAP) versus port-site local anaesthetic infiltration (LAI) in reducing postoperative pain following laparoscopic excision of endometriosis.
Design: A prospective, double-blind randomised controlled trial.
Setting: A tertiary referral centre for endometriosis and minimally invasive gynaecological surgery.
Population: Women undergoing laparoscopic excision of endometriosis from December 2015 through July 2016.
Methods: Participants were randomised to receive: port-site infiltration with bupivacaine and placebo LTAP (LAI group, n = 21); placebo port-site infiltration and LTAP with bupivacaine (LTAP group, n = 24); placebo port-site infiltration and placebo LTAP (placebo group, n = 25).
Main outcome measures: Post-operative pain at 2-4, 6-8, 10-12 and 24 hours, analgesic requirements, TAP block-related complications and opioid-related adverse effects.
Results: There were no differences in patient characteristics between the groups. In comparison with placebo, both LTAP and LAI groups had significantly less pain at 2-4, 6-8, and 10-12 hours (median 3, 3, 3.5 versus 3, 6, 4 versus 8, 8, 7 for LTAP, LAI, and placebo, respectively, P < 0.05). Median differences (and 95% confidence intervals) were as follows; LTAP versus placebo -5 (-6 to -4), -4 (-5 to -3), -3 (-4 to -0.5); LAI versus placebo -4 (-5 to -2), -2 (-3 to -0.5), -1 (-4 to -0.5) at 2-4, 6-8 and 10-12 hours, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences between the LTAP and LAI groups.
Conclusions: Laparoscopically guided transversus abdominis plane block and LAI both reduce postoperative pain in patients undergoing laparoscopic excision of endometriosis, compared with placebo. We found no differences in effect between LTAP and LAI.
Tweetable abstract: TAP block and port-site local infiltration are both effective in reducing postoperative pain in major gynaecological laparoscopic surgery.
Keywords: Bupivacaine; endometriosis; laparoscopic gynaecological surgery; local anaesthetic; port-site infiltration; postoperative pain; transversus abdominis plane block.
© 2018 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.