Elimination of postoperative narcotics in infant robotic pyeloplasty using caudal anesthesia and a non-narcotic pain pathway.
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.
Meier KM, Zheng A, Rollins ZH, Asantey KA, Shah MD, Banooni AB, et al [Liss ZJ] Elimination of postoperative narcotics in infant robotic pyeloplasty using caudal anesthesia and a non-narcotic pain pathway. J Endourol 2022 Nov;36(11):1431-1435. doi: 10.1089/end.2022.0263. PMID: 35850585.