Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of intraoperative epidural anesthesia combined with balanced general anesthesia on intraoperative hemodynamics and fluid requirement, and on postoperative patient outcome.

Design: The study design was a retrospective data analysis of patients undergoing open hepatectomy at a single tertiary care center from May, 2013 to June, 2016. Patients undergoing hepatectomies were separated into two groups: patients not receiving epidural local anesthetic intraoperatively (either no epidural or epidural catheter not used intraoperatively) were designated the control group and patients receiving epidural local anesthetic intraoperatively (bolus and/or continuously). Patients were excluded if they underwent laparoscopic or non-elective procedures.

Results: 103 patients were included in the data analysis: Control n=14, Epidural = 89 patients. There were no major differences in demographics between groups. Epidural patients did not have higher requirements in intraoperative intravenous fluid administration, blood loss, or vasopressor use compared to control patients. Patients who received epidurals required less intravenous opioids with better post-operative pain scores initially and also on post-operative day 2. There were no differences in length of time to ambulation, or post-operative acute kidney injury amongst groups.

Conclusions: This study shows that patients undergoing hepatectomies using combined epidural and general anesthesia: 1) have no increased requirement for intraoperative crystalloid, colloid, or blood component therapy, 2) require lower total intravenous opioid dose, and 3) subjectively report better pain control. Therefore, intraoperative epidural anesthesia combined with general anesthesia may be advantageous for ERAS protocol based oncological procedures.

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Published in International Journal of Clinical Anesthesia and Research, v. 2, issue 1, p. 23-30.

© 2018 Mallard C, et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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