Background: Regional anesthesia improves postoperative analgesia and enhances quality of recovery (QoR) after ambulatory surgery. This randomized, double-blinded, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial examines the effects of multilevel ultrasound-guided paravertebral blocks (PVBs) and total intravenous anesthesia on QoR after ambulatory breast tumor resection.
Methods: Sixty-six women were randomized to standardized general anesthesia (control group) or PVBs and propofol-based total intravenous anesthesia (PVB group). The PVB group received T1–T5 PVBs with 5 ml of 0.5% ropivacaine per level, whereas the control group received sham subcutaneous injections. Postoperative QoR was designated as the primary outcome. The 29-item ambulatory QoR tool was administered in the preadmission clinic, before discharge, and on postoperative days 2, 4, and 7. Secondary outcomes included block success, pain scores, intra- and postoperative morphine consumption, time to rescue analgesia, incidence of nausea and vomiting, and hospital discharge time.
Results: Data from sixty-four patients were analyzed. The PVB group had higher QoR scores than control group upon discharge (146 vs. 131; P < 0.0001) and on postoperative day 2 (145 vs. 135; P = 0.013); improvements beyond postoperative day 2 lacked statistical significance. None of the PVB group patients required conversion to inhalation gas–based general anesthesia or experienced block-related complications. PVB group patients had improved pain scores on postanesthesia care unit admission and discharge, hospital discharge, and postoperative day 2; their intraoperative morphine consumption, incidence of nausea and vomiting, and discharge time were also reduced.
Conclusion: Combining multilevel PVBs with total intravenous anesthesia provides reliable anesthesia, improves postoperative analgesia, enhances QoR, and expedites discharge compared with inhalational gas- and opioid-based general anesthesia for ambulatory breast tumor resection.