Comparing Epidural Analgesia and ON-Q Infiltrating Catheters for Pain Management after Hepatic Resection


Background and Objectives: Pain control after hepatic resection presents unique challenges as subcostal incisions, rib retraction, and diaphragmatic irritation can lead to significant pain. Both epidural analgesia and ON-Q catheters have been used for postoperative pain management after hepatic surgery, but to our knowledge have not been directly compared. Methods: The records of 143 patient between the ages 18 and 70 were reviewed who underwent hepatic resection by a single surgeon. Patients were categorized according to method of postoperative pain control. Average pain scores for both study groups were collected until POD#3. Results: Demographic data and the length of surgery were similar between the groups (all P > 0.05). On the day of surgery and POD#1, average pain scores for the epidural group were lower than the ON-Q group (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0008 respectively). There was no difference in pain scores on POD #2 (P = 0.2369) or POD #3 (P = 0.2289). Conclusions: Epidural analgesia provides superior pain control on the day of surgery and POD#1 when compared to On-Q catheter with IV PCA. There was no difference in pain scores on POD#2 or POD#3. Future prospective randomized trials comparing these analgesic methods will be required to further evaluate enhanced recovery after hepatic surgery.

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J. Soliz, R. Gebhardt, L. Feng, W. Dong, M. Reich and S. Curley, "Comparing Epidural Analgesia and ON-Q Infiltrating Catheters for Pain Management after Hepatic Resection," Open Journal of Anesthesiology, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2013, pp. 3-7. doi: 10.4236/ojanes.2013.31002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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