Ultrasound-guided bilateral rectus sheath block vs. conventional local analgesia in single port laparoscopic appendectomy for children with nonperforated appendicitis

Publication Date


Journal Title

J Pediatr Surg


© 2017 Elsevier Inc. Introduction: Despite its minimally invasive approach, laparoscopic surgery can cause considerable pain. Regional analgesic techniques such as the rectus sheath block (RSB) offer improved pain management following elective umbilical hernia repair in the pediatric population. This effect has not been examined in laparoscopic single-incision surgery in children. We sought to compare the efficacy of bilateral ultrasound-guided RSB versus local anesthetic infiltration (LAI) in providing postoperative pain relief in pediatric single-incision transumbilical laparoscopic assisted appendectomy (TULA) with same-day discharge. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 275 children, ages 4 to 17 years old, who underwent TULA for uncomplicated appendicitis in a single institution from August 2014 to July 2015. We compared those that received preincision bilateral RSB (n = 136) with those who received LAI (n = 139). The primary outcome was narcotic administration. Secondary outcomes included initial and mean scores, time from anesthesia induction to release, operative time, time to rescue dose of analgesic in the PACU and time to PACU discharge. Results: Total narcotic administration was significantly reduced in patients that underwent preincision RSB compared to those that received conventional LAI, with a mean of 0.112 mg/kg of morphine versus 0.290 mg/kg morphine (p < 0.0001). Patients undergoing RSB reported lower initial (0.38 vs. 2.38; p < 0.0001) and mean pain scores (1.26 vs. 1.77; p < 0.015). Time to rescue analgesia was prolonged in patients undergoing RSB compared to LAI (58.93 min vs. 41.56 min; p = 0.047). Conclusion: Preincision RSB for TULA in uncomplicated appendicitis in children is associated with decreased opioid consumption and lower pain scores compared with LAI. As the addition of this procedure only added 6.67 min to time under anesthesia, we feel that it is a viable option for postoperative pain control in pediatric single-incision laparoscopic surgery. Retrospective comparative study: LEVEL III EVIDENCE.

Volume Number


Issue Number



431 - 436

Document Type





School of Medicine

Primary Department


Additional Departments

General Pediatrics; Surgery





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