Major abdominal surgery usually requires general anesthesia with tracheal intubation and may be supplemented with neuraxial anesthesia to provide intraoperative and postoperative pain relief. Attempts at using only neuraxial anesthesia for major abdominal surgery have often been shown to be poorly effective. This report demonstrates that laparoscopic colonic surgical procedures can be performed with ultrasound-guided blocks (bilateral transversus abdominal plane block and celiac plexus block) and intravenous sedation, while avoiding general or neuraxial anesthesia.Case Report
We report our preliminary experience in 3 patients (all American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status III) who underwent laparoscopic colonic surgery without general anesthesia. Intraoperative visceral analgesia was provided by single-injection ultrasound anterior celiac plexus block to which was added a bilateral subcostal transversus abdominal plane block to obtain parietal analgesia. Light intravenous sedation was added. Surgical exposure was satisfactory, and no patient complained of any symptom during the procedure. No adverse effect was recorded. Postoperative pain was minimal, and recovery was enhanced with mobilization and walking within hours after surgery. Patient satisfaction was excellent.Conclusions
To date, celiac plexus block has been used almost exclusively to relieve pancreatic cancer pain. This is the first report in which it is shown that major intra-abdominal surgery can be performed almost exclusively with regional anesthesia while avoiding adverse effects and problems associated with either general or neuraxial anesthesia. In addition, prolonged postoperative pain relief facilitated early recovery.