Evaluation of the Erector spinae plane block for postoperative analgesia in laparoscopic ventral hernia repair: a randomized placebo controlled trial

BMC Anesthesiol. 2024 May 29;24(1):192. doi: 10.1186/s12871-024-02566-x.


Background: The Erector spinae plane block (ESPB) reduces postoperative pain after several types of abdominal laparoscopic surgeries. There is sparse data on the effect of ESPB in laparoscopic ventral hernia repair. The purpose of this study was to test the postoperative analgesic efficacy of an ESPB for this procedure.

Methods: In this prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled study, adult patients undergoing laparoscopic ventral hernia repair were randomly assigned to either bilateral preoperative ESPB with catheters at the level of Th7 (2 × 30 ml of either 2.5 mg/ml ropivacaine or saline), with postoperative catheter top ups every 6 h for 24 h. The primary outcome was rescue opioid consumption during the first hour postoperatively. Secondary outcomes were total opioid consumption at 4 h and 24 h, pain scores, nausea, sedation, as well as Quality of Recovery 15 (QoR-15) and the EuroQol-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D-5L) during the first week.

Results: In total, 64 patients were included in the primary outcome measure. There was no significant difference in rescue opioid consumption (oral morphine equivalents (OME)) at one hour postoperatively, with the ESPB group 26.9 ± 17.1 mg versus 32.4 ± 24.3 mg (mean ± SD) in the placebo group (p= 0.27). There were no significant differences concerning the secondary outcomes during the seven-day observation period. Seven patients received a rescue block postoperatively, providing analgesia in five patients.

Conclusion: We found no difference in measured outcomes between ESPB and placebo in laparoscopic ventral hernia repair. Future studies may evaluate whether a block performed using higher concentration and/or at a different thoracic level provides more analgesic efficacy.

Trial registration: NCT04438369 ; 18/06/2020. .

Keywords: Acute pain; Anesthesia; Postoperative analgesia; Regional anesthesia.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesics, Opioid* / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics, Opioid* / therapeutic use
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Hernia, Ventral* / surgery
  • Herniorrhaphy* / methods
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy* / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Block* / methods
  • Pain, Postoperative* / prevention & control
  • Paraspinal Muscles / innervation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Ropivacaine / administration & dosage


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Ropivacaine

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04438369