Elimination of postoperative narcotics in infant robotic pyeloplasty using caudal anesthesia and a non-narcotic pain pathway.

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Journal of endourology


INTRODUCTION: Research suggests that narcotic pain medications are dramatically overprescribed. We hypothesize that narcotics are unnecessary for post-operative pain control in most infants undergoing robotic pyeloplasty. In this series, we report our experience combining caudal blocks with a non-narcotic postoperative pathway as a means of eliminating postoperative narcotics following infant robotic pyeloplasty.

METHODS: We reviewed 24 consecutive patients who underwent robotic pyeloplasty by a single surgeon treated with an end-procedure caudal block followed by a non-narcotic postoperative pain pathway treated between May 2017 and May 2021. The standardized postoperative pathway consisted of an end-procedure caudal block followed by alternating intravenous acetaminophen and ketorolac. We reviewed demographics, outcomes and unscheduled healthcare encounters within 30 postoperative days.

RESULTS: 63% (15/24) patients were male and average age was 12.1 months (range 4-34 months). 58% (9/15) underwent surgery on the left. 16.7% (4/24) of patients received a single postoperative dose of narcotics in the PACU. No patient required narcotic prescriptions at discharge or anytime thereafter. The average length of stay was 1.13 days. There was no pain-related, unscheduled visits or phone calls after discharge.

CONCLUSIONS: This series shows that a non-narcotic standardized pain management strategy is a viable option for infants undergoing robotic pyeloplasty. Post procedure caudal block is a good addition to a non-narcotic pathway. In the future, we intend to expand these findings to other pediatric urologic procedures in the hope of eliminating unnecessary narcotic use.


Online ahead of print.





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