Author(s): Barczyski M, Herman RM
BACKGROUND: We designed a prospective randomized clinical trial to investigate whether intraperitoneal saline washout combined with a low-pressure pneumoperitoneum (LPSW) was superior to low-pressure pneumoperitoneum (LP) alone as a means of reducing postoperative pain and analgesic consumption in the early recovery period after laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC).
METHODS: A total of 124 consecutive patients undergoing LC due to uncomplicated symptomatic gallstones were randomized to the LP or LPSW group. In the LPSW group, normal saline at body temperature (25 ml/kg of body weight) was irrigated under the diaphragm. The fluid was evacuated via the passive-flow method through a 16-F closed drain left under the liver for 24 h. We then assessed the intensity of total abdominal postoperative pain using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), including the incidence of shoulder-tip pain (STP), total daily analgesia demand rate, analgesic consumption. Quality of life (QOL) within 7 days after the operation was assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36). A p value of <0.05 was considered significant.
RESULTS: The mean postoperative pain score was lower by 2.64 +/- 0.86 in the LPSW; the difference equaled 9.64\% (p < 0.05). The incidence of STP was lower in the LPSW group (LP 11.29\% vs LPSW 1.6\%; p = 0.028). The analgesia demand rate was remarkably lower in LPSW vs LP within 24 and 48 h postoperatively (70.96\% vs 90.32\%; p = 0.006 and 64.51\% vs. 83.87\%; p = 0.013, respectively). After LPSW vs LP, QOL was better in terms of physical functioning, role limitations due to physical problems, and bodily pain (90.32\% vs 77.42\%; p = 0.05, 90.32\% vs 75.8\%; p = 0.03, 91.93\% vs 74.19\%; p = 0.008, respectively).
CONCLUSION: In terms of lower postoperative pain and a better QOL within the early recovery period, LPSW is superior to LP alone. The saline washout procedure should be recommended during LC because it is a simple way to reduce pain intensity, even after LP operations.Medical & Surgical Urology