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Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap (D.I.E.P) for Breast Reconstruction: Impact of Intraoperative Intrathecal Morphine on Outcome

Author(s): M. Ben Aziz, K. Halenarova, E. Schröder, V. Kamps, M. Paesmans, M. Khalife, F. Urbain, and M. Sosnowski

Background: Pain control after breast reconstruction with Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP) often requires intravenous narcotic analgesia and inpatient hospitalization. Intrathecal morphine (ITM) administration analgesia is increasing in popularity because it decreases the use of intravenous analgesic medications and offer comparable pain relief with less systemic side effects. Questions/purposes: The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the effect of intrathecal morphine on postoperative morbidity of breast reconstruction by Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator flap and compare it with intravenous narcotic analgesia. Methods: 269 patients underwent immediate or delayed DIEP reconstruction after mastectomy, by the same surgeon, at Jules Bordet Institute. Patients receiving ITM analgesia (300 𝜇) were matched 1:3 with patients undergoing intravenous narcotic analgesia for pain control in the same years by the same surgeon. Differences in peri- and postoperative complications across the two groups were assessed. Results: The two groups were comparable in terms of demographic characteristics and factors of morbidity. Intraoperative variables were not statistically different between the groups except for intraoperative blood loss (P = 0.0001), transfusion (P = 0.0001) and Intraoperative liquid requirement (p = 0.0001). Intra and postoperative blood pressure were lower in ITM group (p < 0.05). Patients in ITM group showed lower postoperative analgesia requirement (P < 0,0001), less respiratory complications and less acute respiratory failure (P = 0,003 and P = 0,004, respectively). No statistically significant differences in the length of hospital stay (LOS) were noted Conclusion: We found that intrathecal morphine analgesia was associated with less blood loss and fluid administration, better postoperative pain control, and less respiratory complications with an acceptable security profile than intravenous narcotic analgesia. Clinical relevance: This study suggests that using intrathecal morphine may result in less blood loss and blood transfusion, better postoperative pain control, and less respiratory complications.

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