Hong Kong Med J 2012;18:30–4 | Number 1, February 2012
Analgesic effects of preoperative gabapentin after tongue reconstruction with the anterolateral thigh flap
TW Chiu, Czarina CH Leung, Edgar YK Lau, Andrew Burd
Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVE. To investigate gabapentin's role in head and neck cancer surgery following the demonstration of the effectiveness of gabapentin in reducing postoperative pain.
DESIGN. Non-randomised open-label trial.
SETTING. Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Pain scores, analgesic usage, and the frequency of adverse effects.
PATIENTS. In patients undergoing anterolateral thigh flap reconstruction after resection of tongue carcinoma, those who had an oral dose of gabapentin before surgery were compared to those who did not.
RESULTS. Postoperative pain was reduced in the gabapentin group (1.2) compared to the control group (1.7) [P=0.05]. In the gabapentin group, mean morphine (patient-controlled analgesia) use (3.5 mg), sedation scores (1.0), and antiemetic usage (0 mg metoclopramide) were all significantly reduced in comparison to the controls with respective figures of 11.4 mg, 1.6, and 12.2 mg.
CONCLUSION. Single preoperative doses of gabapentin led to significant reductions in postoperative pain and nausea with reduced analgesic and antiemetic usage, without additional side-effects or increases in operative complications.
Key words: Acetic acids; Analgesics; gamma-Aminobutyric acid; Head and neck neoplasms; Pain, postoperative
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