February 20, 2024

Study: Intrathecal morphine reduces post-op opioid need in open prostate, kidney surgeries

Editor's Note

A recent study suggests a single dose of intrathecal morphine provides long-lasting analgesia and reduces the need for postoperative systemic administration of opioids after painful open urological procedures. The Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing published the data January 31.

Intrathecal opioid administration is an attractive technique in these surgeries because the injection is usually simple, rapid, and has a relatively low risk of technical complications or failure, the researchers write. The prospective, randomized, single-blind controlled study involved 98 patients undergoing open prostatectomy or nephrectomy, 41 in the intervention group and 57 in the control group. All were given identical anesthesia based on identical pain thresholds. However, time to administration of the first does of morphine was significantly longer in the intervention group, and nearly three in four patients did not need opioids after surgery.

“The results of our study confirmed that preoperative intrathecal morphine provides long-lasting analgesia and reduces the need for postoperative systemic administration of opioids,” the researchers conclude. “Adverse effects are minor and comparable between groups.”

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