Purpose: To determine the preemptive pain and hemodynamic effects of preincisional retrobulbar analgesia in enucleation.
Methods: This double-blinded, placebo-controlled study enrolled 69 patients scheduled for enucleation. Patients were stratified into two groups: those who used daily analgesics before surgery and those who did not. Each group was randomly assigned to receive a preincisional retrobulbar injection containing either a mixture of bupivacaine, lidocaine, epinephrine, and hyaluronidase; or saline placebo. All patients received postoperative retrobulbar injection containing the analgesic mixture. The outcome measures were intraoperative and postoperative blood pressure, heart rate, postoperative pain, and pain medication consumption.
Results: Groups that received preincisional analgesia had a significantly lower mean intraoperative blood pressure (109/59 versus 127/69 mm Hg; P< 0.05). Visual analog scale pain assessment (VAS) was lower in both treatment groups upon recovery room entry (VAS, 0.3 versus 15.8, P=0.08) and after 30 minutes in the nonanalgesic use group (VAS, 5.6 versus 19.4, P=0.11). Among nonchronic analgesic users, fewer patients in the treatment group had pain requiring analgesic rescue in the recovery room (5% versus 25%, P=0.08). Postoperative pain medicine consumption in the first 24 hours did not differ significantly among the groups.
Conclusions: Preemptive retrobulbar analgesia was associated with improved intraoperative hemodynamics during enucleation and a trend toward reduced pain on entry in the recovery room and fewer pain rescues in the early postoperative period. A trend toward reduced pain severity in the early postoperative period was observed in those patients without daily preoperative analgesic use.