This study investigates the associations between local anesthesia practice and perioperative complication, length of stay, and hospital cost for palatoplasty in the United States.
Patients undergoing cleft palate repair between 2004 and 2015 were abstracted from the Pediatric Health Information System database. Perioperative complication, length of stay, and hospital cost were compared by local anesthesia status. Multiple logistic regressions controlled for patient demographics, comorbidities, and hospital characteristics.
Of 17,888 patients from 49 institutions who met selection criteria, 8631 (48 percent), 4447 (25 percent), and 2149 (12 percent) received epinephrine-containing lidocaine, epinephrine-containing bupivacaine, and bupivacaine or ropivacaine alone, respectively. The use of epinephrine-containing bupivacaine or bupivacaine or ropivacaine alone was associated with decreased perioperative complication [adjusted OR, 0.75 (95 percent CI, 0.61 to 0.91) and 0.63 (95 percent CI, 0.47 to 0.83); p = 0.004 and p = 0.001, respectively]. Only bupivacaine- or ropivacaine-alone recipients experienced a significantly reduced risk of prolonged length of stay on adjusted analysis [adjusted OR, 0.71 (95 percent CI, 0.55 to 0.90); p = 0.005]. Risk of increased cost was reduced in users of any local anesthetic (p < 0.001 for all).
Epinephrine-containing bupivacaine or bupivacaine or ropivacaine alone was associated with reduced perioperative complication following palatoplasty, while only the latter predicted a decreased postoperative length of stay. Uses of epinephrine-containing lidocaine, epinephrine-containing bupivacaine, and bupivacaine or ropivacaine alone were all associated with decreased hospital costs. Future prospective studies are warranted to further delineate the role of local anesthesia in palatal surgery.
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