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Bilateral PECS II Block is Associated with Decreased Opioid Consumption and Reduced Pain Scores for up to 24 hours After Minimally Invasive Repair of Pectus Excavatum (Nuss Procedure): A Retrospective Analysis

December 26, 2022

Compared to the open surgical technique, the minimally invasive repair of pectus excavatum (MIRPE; Nuss procedure) is a thora- coscopic technique designed to minimize intraoperative tissue damage. It still causes severe postoperative pain due to the insertion and pressure of the retrosternal bar used to raise the sternum and stabilize the chest. This study aimed to identify associations between ultrasound-guided PECS-II block and postoperative analgesia after the Nuss procedure.
Design: A retrospective cohort study.
Setting: Single-center, training and research hospital affiliated with a university.
From Jan 1, 2018 to Nov 15, 2021, 171 consecutive patients were identified who underwent MIRPE surgery under general anes- thesia. All patients received intravenous (I) patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) with or without PECS-II blocks for postoperative analgesia. One hundred twenty-five patients who met the inclusion criteria were evaluated.
Demand-only morphine intravenous PCA was used for postoperative pain management in the PECS and control groups. Bilateral PECS-II block with 0.25% bupivacaine was performed in to the PECS group.
Measurements and main results:
The primary outcome was postoperative opioid consumption, calculated as mg/kg of IV morphine. Secondary outcomes included Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) pain scores at rest (static) and with movement (dynamic) recorded 1, 4, 8, 12, 24 h after surgery. Postoperative morphine consumption was significantly lower in the PECS group than in the control group over the first 24 hours postoperatively: 0.325 mg/kg vs. 0.425 mg/kg (p<0.001). Static and dynamic NRS values were significantly lower in the PECS group for the first 12 postopera- tive hours (p <0.05). Conclusions:
Bilateral PECS-II block is associated with decreased pain scores for up to 12 hours, and with decreased opioid consumption for up to 24 hours, following minimally invasive repair of pectus excavatum (Nuss procedure) in adolescents. PECS-II block in this context has not been previously described.