Pain after laparoscopic cholecystectomy: characteristics and effect of intraperitoneal bupivacaine

Anesth Analg. 1995 Aug;81(2):379-84. doi: 10.1097/00000539-199508000-00029.


Although pain after laparoscopic cholecystectomy is less intense than after open cholecystectomy, some patients still experience considerable discomfort. Furthermore, the characteristics of postlaparoscopy pain differ considerably from those seen after laparotomy. Therefore, we investigated the time course of different pain components after laparoscopic cholecystectomy and the effects of intraperitoneal bupivacaine on these different components. Forty ASA physical status grade I-II patients were randomly assigned to receive either 80 mL of bupivacaine 0.125% with epinephrine 1/200,000 (n = 20) or the same volume of saline (n = 20) instilled under the right hemidiaphragm at the end of surgery. Intensity of total pain, visceral pain, parietal pain, and shoulder pain was assessed 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 24, and 48 h after surgery. Analgesic consumption was also recorded. Patient data were similar in the two groups. In the saline group, visceral pain was significantly more intense than parietal pain at each time point; visceral and parietal pain were greater than shoulder pain during the first 8 h postoperatively. Intraperitoneal bupivacaine did not significantly affect any of the different components of postoperative pain. Analgesic consumption was similar in the two groups. This study demonstrates that visceral pain accounts for most of the pain experienced after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Intraperitoneal bupivacaine is not effective for treating any type of pain after laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Muscles
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Anesthesia, Local*
  • Bupivacaine / administration & dosage*
  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic / adverse effects*
  • Cough / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Locomotion
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control*
  • Rest
  • Shoulder
  • Time Factors
  • Viscera


  • Analgesics
  • Bupivacaine