Thoracic Paravertebral Block for Perioperative Analgesia in the Surgical Management of Left Ventricular Assist Device Infections

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Abstract

Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation is increasingly being used as a bridging therapy to heart transplantation. Infection is a major complication in patients with implanted LVADs, and it is associated with short- and long-term mortality. Surgical management for infection control is sometimes necessary; however, providing pain management during the surgical procedures is challenging. Anesthesiologists may be able to contribute to better pain management during surgical interventions to treat LVAD infections. We successfully performed a continuous thoracic paravertebral block (TPVB) for perioperative pain relief during invasive surgical procedures on three patients with infections of implanted LVADs. Despite several limitations that need to be addressed in the future, TPVB was able to relieve surgical pain in these patients without obvious complications.

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