Role of intercostal nerve block in reducing postoperative pain following video-assisted thoracoscopy: A randomized controlled trial

Document Type





Background: The main advantages of video assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) include less post-operative pain, rapid recovery, less postoperative complications, shorter hospital stay and early discharge. Although pain intensity is less as compared to conventional thoracotomy but still patients experience upto moderate pain postoperatively. The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy and morphine sparing effect of intercostal nerve block in alleviating immediate post-operative pain in patients undergoing VATS.MATERIALS AND Methods: Sixty ASA I-III patients, aged between 16 to 60 years, undergoing mediastinal lymph node biopsy through VATS under general anaesthesia were randomly divided into two groups. The intercostal nerve block (ICNB group) received the block along with patient control intravenous analgesia (PCIA) with morphine, while control group received only PCIA with morphine for post-operative analgesia. Patients were followed for twenty four hours post operatively for intervention of post-operative pain in the recovery room and ward.Results: The pain was assessed using visual analogue scale (VAS) at 1, 6, 12 and 24 hours. There was a significant decrease in pain score and morphine consumption in ICNB group as compared to control group in first 6 hours postoperatively. There was no significant difference in pain scores and morphine consumption between the two groups after 6 hours.CONCLUSION: Patients receiving intercostal nerve block have better pain control and less morphine consumption as compared to those patients who did not receive intercostal nerve block in early (6 hours) post-operative period.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia