Background: Epidural analgesia is a gold standard in post-operative pain control in patients undergoing large abdominal interventions. Different studies report a failure ratio of epidural analgesia of 20-32%.
The aim of this study is to analyze the success rate of epidural analgesia and its consequences in patients that have been subject to large abdominal surgeries.
Materials and methods: We have prospectively collected the data of 50 patients that were subject to open abdominal surgeries during a 2 year timeframe (September 2015 – September 2017) at University Clinical Center of Kosovo. Experienced anesthesiologists inserted the epidural catheters. A dedicated team used the Verbal Scale to collect the data regarding post-operative pain during coughing or moving. The success rate of eidural catheter was measured in terms of: the scale of pain, pulmonary post-operative infection and length of hospital stay.
Results: The study group included 33 males and 17 females, most of whom were subject to liver surgery. The secondary liver formations (70%), primary tumours (20%) as well as beningn liver disorders(10%) were an indication for liver resection. Large resections (≥3 segments) were completed in 44% of patients, small liver resections were (≤2 segments) completed in 48% of patients, while 8% of patients were considered inoperative. Epidural analgesia was successful in 46 patients (92%). Bacterial colonisation of the catheter was observed in only one case. There were no neurological complications. 5 (10%) patients showed radiologicalsigns of a pulmonary infection. Three patients (6%) had surgical wound infection. One patient died of hepatic insufficiency after massive right liver resection and cholecystectomy due to gallbladder carcinoma. The average length of hospital stay was 6 days.
Conclusions: Our experience concludes that epidural analgesia is a safe and effective way of pain relief after abdominal surgeries.
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