ORLANDO (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) – Port site infiltration during laparoscopic or robot-assisted hysterectomy with extended-release liposomal bupivacaine did not significantly improve most postoperative pain scores, compared with plain 0.25% bupivacaine.

In a randomized trial, the liposomal formulation was associated with 30% less pain on postoperative day 3, a significant difference not seen on postoperative day 1, 2, or 14.

“Liposomal bupivacaine is expected to last about 72 hours but it also comes at a cost,” Kenneth I. Barron , MD, a fellow in advanced minimally invasive gynecologic surgery at Florida Hospital Orlando, said at the meeting sponsored by AAGL. Extended-release bupivacaine costs $280, compared with $1.83 for plain bupivacaine, according to Dr. Barron.

“Based on this study, the routine use of liposomal bupivacaine as a port site local anesthetic in laparoscopic hysterectomy has limited usefulness and is not justified,” he said.

In the blinded study, surgeons at a tertiary-care community hospital performed pre-incision infiltration with undiluted liposomal extended-release bupivacaine for 32 surgery patients and with the short-acting formulation for another 32 surgery patients. All patients underwent either laparoscopic or robot-assisted total hysterectomy for benign indications. They were recruited for the study between July 2015 and January 2016 and there were no significant demographic differences between groups preoperatively.

For the primary outcome measure, investigators called each participant and asked them to rate their average overall pain on postoperative days 1, 2, 3, and 14. They used the Brief Pain Inventory 0-10 scale. There were no significant differences between groups on a composite score of their average and worst pain on days 1, 2, or 14. However, on day 3, the composite score was 3.26 in the extended-release group, compared with 4.83 for those receiving short-acting bupivacaine (P = .009).

“What this shows, if anything, is one method of local anesthetic is probably not enough to make a significant impact,” Dr. Barron said. What is needed instead is “probably more of a global approach to enhance recovery.”

There were no significant differences between groups in the secondary study outcomes: pain scores during the first 24 hours in the hospital, function based on pain interference scores, opioid use, or adverse events.

Dr. Barron reported having no relevant financial disclosures.


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