Background: We aimed to evaluate the impact of bupivacaine administration into the surgical field after total thyroidectomy on post-operative pain and analgesic requirement with a double-blind, prospective, clinical and randomized study.
Methods: The study was performed between 2010 and 2011. Pain assessment was performed with the visual analog score (VAS). Patients were pre-operatively, randomly divided into two groups to receive either bupivacaine or saline. One group received a 10-mL of bupivacaine solution while the other group was treated with the same volume of 0.9% NaCl through the drain after completion of total thyroidectomy procedure. All patients were anesthetized and operated with the same anesthesia and surgical team.
Results: Ninety-one patients (20 males) were included in the study. No patient dropped out of the study during the procedures. No mortality was seen. The VAS scores were significantly lower in the bupivacaine administered group at post-operative minute 30 (3.7±3.2 vs. 5±2.9; P=0.03), hour one (3.04±2.4 vs. 4.2±2.8; P=0.04), and hour eight (1.8±2.04 vs. 3.2±2.1; P=0.005). Thirteen patients required analgesia during their hospital stay in the bupivacaine group while this number was twenty-two in the saline group (P=0.005).
Conclusions: Local bupivacaine administration into the surgical field after total thyroidectomy reduces pain and analgesic requirement during the hospital stay.