Lumbar epidural buprenorphine for postoperative pain relief following hepatectomy
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The induction of postoperative pain relief with lumbar epidural or intramuscular buprenorphine was studied in 30 patients undergoing hepatectomy. When patients first complained of pain after surgery, 0.06 mg or 0.12 mg of buprenorphine in 10 ml or 20 ml of saline was administered through an epidural catheter inserted at the L3-4 interspace, or 0.12 mg was administered intramuscularly. Two of seven patients receiving epidural buprenorphine 0.12 mg in 10 ml saline were completely pain-free, and the other five patients in this group had only slight pain. Four of eight patients receiving epidural buprenorphine 0.12 mg in 20 ml saline were completely pain-free, and the other four patients in this group had only slight pain. Epidural buprenorphine 0.06 mg in 20 ml saline and intramuscular buprenorphine 0.12 mg each yielded only incomplete analgesia. The duration of analgesia of epidural buprenorphine 0.12 mg administered at the lumbar level was about 8 h. There were no significant changes over time in circulatory or respiratory variables induced by buprenorphine. No patient had serious adverse effects. Lumbar epidural administration of buprenorphine 0.12 mg diluted to 10 or 20 ml (20 ml might be preferable) with saline is recommended for induction of postoperative analgesia following hepatectomy.
Key wordsEpidural analgesia Buprenorphine Hepatectomy Postoperative pain
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