Topical Ropivacaine in Prevention of Post-Tonsillectomy Pain in Adults

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Post-tonsillectomy pain is 1 of the most intense postoperative pain conditions. However, optimal and sufficient postoperative analgesic treatment remains unclear. We investigated the effect of topical ropivacaine for post-tonsillectomy pain in 160 adult outpatient surgery patients over 2 postoperative weeks.

METHODS:

At the end of tonsillectomy, 2 swabs soaked in either 1% ropivacaine or saline were packed into the tonsillar beds for 5 minutes. We used ibuprofen and a combination of acetaminophen (500 mg)–codeine (30 mg) tablets as postoperative analgesics for 2 weeks. The primary outcome was pain intensity on swallowing measured on a numeric rating scale (NRSs) during the first postoperative week expressed as area under curve (AUC). The secondary endpoints included the worst pain experienced during the 2-hour follow-up in the postanesthesia care unit, pain intensity during the second postoperative week, and the number of ibuprofen and acetaminophen–codeine tablets consumed during the 2 postoperative weeks.

RESULTS:

During the first postoperative week, 120 patients out of 160 (75%) provided complete results, including data on their use of analgesics according to the instructions as well as completed and returned a questionnaire daily. A total of 101 patients (63%) did the same during the second postoperative week.

RESULTS:

Median (interquartile range [IQR]) of the primary outcome NRSs (AUC) was 38 (19) for the ropivacaine group and 37 (24) for the control group during the first postoperative week (P = .77, −1.0 estimated difference; 95% confidence interval [CI] for the difference, −7.0 to 5.0); no difference was found. Median (IQR) of NRS at rest (NRSr) (AUC) was 24.5 (19) for the ropivacaine group and 24 (22) for the control group during the first postoperative week (P = .96, 0.0 estimated difference; 95% CI for the difference, −5.0 to 5.0); no difference was found. Median (IQR) of the worst pain intensity values (NRSs or NRSr) (AUC) was 5 (3) for the ropivacaine group and 5 (3) for the control group (P = .44, 0.0 estimated difference; 95% CI for the difference, −1.0 to 0.5); no difference was found. During the second postoperative week, median (IQR) of the NRSs (AUC) was 17 (13) for the ropivacaine group and 21 (23) for the control group (P = .05, −4.0 estimated difference; 95% CI for the difference, −9.0 to 0.0) and median (IQR) of the NRSr (AUC) 10.5 (10) for ropivacaine group and 11 (13) for the control group (P = .42, −1.0 estimated difference; 95% CI for the difference, −5.0 to 2.0); no difference was found.

RESULTS:

The number of rescue analgesics (acetaminophen–codeine tablets) consumed during the second postoperative week was lower in the ropivacaine group than in the control group (median [IQR] of the consumption [AUC] was 10 [12] for the ropivacaine group and 16 [12] for the control group; P = .0008, −7.0 estimated difference; 95% CI of difference, −10 to −3.0). The groups showed no differences in overall risk for post-tonsillectomy bleeding. However, bleeding requiring hemostasis under local anesthesia was more common in the ropivacaine group (18% vs 8%, P = .048, 10% estimated difference; 95% CI for the difference, 0%–21%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Topical ropivacaine failed to reduce pain intensity during the first postoperative week. We observed no major adverse effects.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles