Introduction. Thoracic interfascial plane blocks are increasingly used for pain management after minimally invasive thoracotomy for valve repair and replacement procedures. We hypothesized that the addition of these blocks to the intercostal nerve block injected by the surgeon would further reduce pain scores and opioid utilization. Methods. In this retrospective cohort study, 400 consecutive patients who underwent minimally invasive thoracotomy for mitral or aortic valve replacement and were extubated within 2 hours of surgery were enrolled. The maximum pain score and opioid utilization on the day of surgery and other outcome variables were compared between patients who received interfascial plane blocks and those who did not. Results.193 (48%) received at least one interfascial plane block while 207 (52%) received no interfascial plane block. Patients who received a thoracic interfascial plane block had a maximum VAS score on the day of surgery (mean 7.4 ± 2.5) after the block was administered which was significantly lower than patients in the control group who did not receive the block (mean 7.9 ± 2.2) (P =.02). Opioid consumption in the interfascial plane block group on the day of surgery was not significantly different from the control group. Conclusion. Compared to intercostal blocks alone, the addition of thoracic interfascial plane blocks was associated with a modest reduction in maximum VAS score on the day of surgery. However, no difference in opioid consumption was noted. Patients who received interfascial plane blocks also had decreased blood transfusion requirements and a shorter hospital length of stay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Mitral valve
  • aortic valve replacement
  • bloodloss
  • cardiac anesthesia
  • cardiac surgery
  • cardiopulmonary bypass
  • postoperative care
  • postoperative complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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