Dual epidural catheter (DEC) therapy improves postoperative pain control in scoliosis correction surgery, esophagectomies, and labor. Reports about the use of a second epidural catheter to improve pain control after abdominal surgeries are sparse. We describe the successful use of unplanned DEC therapy in 2 complex pain patients who underwent large exploratory laparotomies. In both patients, the addition of the second catheter led to improved pain control and mobility and reduced side effects from adjuvant intravenous analgesics. DEC therapy merits consideration as an additional tool for managing postoperative pain after large abdominal surgeries despite existing incomplete epidural analgesia.
From the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Accepted for publication August 27, 2018.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Institutional review board: Approval was waived per institutional guideline: https://www.washington.edu/research/policies/guidance-case-reports-irb-review-hipaa/.
Address correspondence to Laurent A. Bollag, MD, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Washington, Box 356540, 1959 NE Pacific St, Seattle, WA 98195. Address e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.