Paravertebral Nerve Block for Donor Site Pain in Stage I Microtia Reconstruction: A Pilot Study

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Abstract

Acute Interventional Perioperative Pain Service consultants have routinely placed paravertebral nerve block (PVB) catheters for the continuous release of ropivacaine following stage I microtia reconstruction with costal cartilage graft at our institution since 2010. A retrospective chart review from July 2006 was performed to compare the length of hospital stay, median pain score (0-10 scale), and opioid use of patients receiving PVB with those of historical controls. Statistical analysis included t, Mann-Whitney U, and Fisher’s exact tests. A total of 15 stage I microtia surgeries were included, 10 with PVB and 5 without. Patients with and without PVB had high peak pain scores (8.4 vs 7.8), remained in the hospital for 3.5 and 3.8 days, and consumed 0.69 and 0.36 mg/kg morphine equivalents, respectively. These findings highlight the feasibility of PVB, but larger studies are needed to optimize pain relief in this population.

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