Background: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) programs have become a mainstay of modern surgical care, and efforts to decrease postoperative opioid consumption have been increasingly employed. A previous study from our institution demonstrated that ERAS protocols decreased opioid use in the first 48 hours after surgery by 61%. In the present study, a lidocaine infusion was added for postoperative pain control. The aim was to analyze the differences in opioid requirements with and without this infusion in the first 48 hours after laparoscopic colectomy in ERAS patients.
Methods: Retrospective review of patients was conducted at an academically affiliated tertiary care hospital. The population included patients undergoing elective laparoscopic colon surgery enrolled in the ERAS program with the implementation of a lidocaine drip from June 2019 to October 2019, and compared to a previous patient cohort of ERAS patients evaluated without the lidocaine drip from September 2015 to May 2018.
Results: The primary endpoint was postoperative opioid use in the first 48 hours based on IV morphine milligram equivalents (MME). Secondary measures included type of surgery, age, BMI, prior abdominal surgery, and prior opioid use. Median MMEs were 6.0 in the lidocaine infusion group and 12.5 in the group without lidocaine, representing a 52% reduction (p < 0.001).
Discussion: This study demonstrates a significant reduction in post-op opioid use in ERAS patients who receive a lidocaine infusion after laparoscopic colectomy. Further studies should focus on measures to limit the treatment side effects in order to maximize the opioid-sparing benefits of this intervention.
Keywords: enhanced recovery after surgery; lidocaine infusion; opioid reduction.