Efficacy of continuous local anesthetic infusion for postoperative pain after radical retropubic prostatectomy

Christopher L. Wu, Alan W. Partin, Andrew J. Rowlingson, Murray A. Kalish, Patrick C. Walsh, Lee A. Fleisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. To determine whether a subfascial continuous infusion of local anesthetic in patients undergoing radical retropubic prostatectomy would result in a reduction in postoperative opioid requirements and an improvement in pain scores. Methods. This was a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial in patients undergoing elective radical retropubic prostatectomy. A small catheter was placed subfascially at the end of surgery and attached to an elastomeric pump that administered either 0.5% bupivacaine or normal saline into the wound at a rate of 2 mL/hr until discharge on postoperative day 3. The outcomes assessed included the dosage of hydromorphone used by a patient-controlled analgesic system, a visual analog scale (VAS) for pain at rest and with activity, a VAS of nausea, and length of hospital stay. Results. A total of 100 patients were successfully randomized, with all patients completing the protocol. No differences were found between the groups with regard to VAS pain at rest, VAS pain with activity, intravenous or oral analgesic consumption, or VAS nausea scores. Conclusions. Continuous subfascial infusion of local anesthetic did not result in a postoperative reduction in opioid requirements or an improvement in pain scores in patients undergoing radical retropubic prostatectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-370
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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