August 1997

Preemptive Analgesia in Patients Undergoing Appendectomy

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, Olive View–UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar, Calif (Drs Ko, Thompson, and Hiyama and Ms Alcantara), and UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif (Drs Ko, Thompson, and Hiyama).

Arch Surg. 1997;132(8):874-878. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430320076012

Objective:  To evaluate the use of preemptive analgesia in patients who were undergoing an operation for acute appendicitis.

Design:  Double-blind, randomized control trial.

Setting:  Public hospital.

Patients:  Patients who presented with presumed appendicitis.

Intervention:  Patients received 1 of the following treatments: group 1, preemptive analgesia with a combination of lidocaine hydrochloride and bupivacaine hydrochloride; group 2, preemptive analgesia with saline solution; or group 3, nothing.

Main Outcome Measures:  The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale, analgesic requirements, number of analgesic doses required, and length of hospital stay.

Results:  No differences were noted in postoperative pain, the total number of analgesic doses per day, the quantity of narcotic medication administered, and the length of hospital stay.

Conclusions:  Compared with healthy control subjects, preemptive analgesia did not reduce postoperative pain, reduce analgesic requirements, or shorten the length of hospital stay in patients who underwent an appendectomy. Preemptive analgesia may be applicable only for patients without preoperative pain.Arch Surg. 1997;132:874-878