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Comparison of effects of epidural bupivacaine and intravenous meperidine analgesia on patient recovery following elective abdominal aortic surgery

Nevriye Salman, Ahmet Baris Durukan, Hasan Alper Gurbuz, Hasan Yamalı, Leyla Guler, Halil Ibrahim Ucar, Cem Yorgancioglu

Ankara, Turkey

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:347-352

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.889005

Available online:

Published: 2013-05-08

Background: The efficacy of epidural anesthesia and analgesia in management of perioperative stress has been established. Perioperative pain management strategies decrease surgical complications and aid recovery. In this study, we aimed to document and compare the efficacy of epidural bupivacaine and intravenous meperidine on recovery of patients with elective abdominal aortic surgery performed under general anesthesia.
Material and Methods: Patients undergoing elective abdominal aortic surgery between February 2009 and November 2011 were studied prospectively. Patients were randomized into epidural bupivacaine (n=40) and intravenous meperidine (n=40) groups regarding postoperative analgesia strategy. The preoperative demographic characteristics, perioperative outcomes, postoperative adverse effects of analgesia strategy, time to initiate oral intake, sedation scores, visual analogue scale results, and mobility scores were compared.
Results: The mean ages of the patients were 61.7±8.1 in the epidural group and 59.4±9.7 in the intravenous group (p>0.05). The preoperative demographic characteristics of the patients were comparable between the groups. There were no statistically significant differences between groups regarding anesthesia times, intubation times, intensive care unit stay, hospital length of stay, postoperative vomiting, and postoperative cardiac, renal, and cerebral complications. Postoperative nausea was more prevalent in the meperidine group (p<0.05). In the epidural group, time to begin oral intake was shorter, sedation scores and visual analogue scale results were lower, and mobility scores were higher (p<0.05 each).
Conclusions: Epidural analgesia allowed earlier recovery compared to intravenous analgesia in patients undergoing elective abdominal aortic surgery, but did not affect postoperative outcomes and complications.

Keywords: Perioperative Care, Meperidine - pharmacology, Injections, Intravenous, Demography, Bupivacaine - pharmacology, Aorta, Abdominal - surgery, Analgesia, Epidural, Recovery of Function - drug effects, Surgical Procedures, Elective