Background: The continuous infusion of ropivacaine is effective in controlling pain for a wide variety of surgical procedures and reducing opioid adverse effects and dependency. The present study assessed the efficacy of ropivacaine infusion using the I-Flow dual Soaker Catheter system at the surgical site for bariatric surgery recovery at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center Hospital (Dallas, TX). We hypothesized that patients receiving ropivacaine would report lower levels of morphine requirement and pain, would have shorter hospital stays, and would return to ambulating faster than patients in the control group. Methods: A total of 45 patients undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery were randomized to 1 of 2 treatment groups, with a target study population of 50 patients, receiving either .2% ropivacaine (n = 24) or saline solution (n = 21). Before incision closure, the surgeon infiltrated the surrounding tissues with 30 mL of ropivacaine (.5%) or saline solution. The catheter was then placed in both the subfascial space and subcutaneously. Next, the infusion pump was connected to the Soaker Catheters to complete the system design and deliver solution to the surgical site. Results: No significant differences were found in the pain scores, morphine requirement, or length of stay between the 2 groups. The ropivacaine group interval to sitting up was one half day shorter than that of patients receiving saline (P = .038). Conclusions: Patients receiving ropivacaine were found to ambulate much more quickly than did the control group patients. This could be very beneficial in reducing the complications from blood clots and improving patient recovery and overall well-being after surgery by assisting with a quicker return to activities of daily living and reducing the dependence on the nursing staff.
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