Objective: The perioperative stress response of patients who were planned to have percutaneous nephrolithotomy under epidural anesthaesia with opioids and local anesthetics has not been investigated in detail. Our hypothesis is that the stress response following percutaneous nephrolithotomy can be lessened by epidural analgesia.
Methods: A total of 48 patients, between 18-65 years of age and ASA I-II, in whom elective percutaneous nephrolithotomy was planned, were randomly divided into two groups namely: Group GA (n = 24): general anaesthesia by sevoflurane and fentanyl and postoperative intravenous PCA; Group GE (n = 24): epidural anaesthesia and general anaesthesia together with postoperative epidural analgesia (0.125% levobupivacaine+fentanyl). Blood levels for glucose, insulin, prolactin and cortisol were evaluated prior to anaesthesia, after surgical incision, immediately following percutaneous dilatation and postoperative 24th hour. Intraoperative hemodynamic parameters and postoperative pain scores together with preoperative and postoperative hematocrit values were recorded.
Results: Postoperative pain scores were found to be statistically significantly lower (p < 0.05) in Group GE at all measurement times. Intraoperative blood loss was statistically significantly lower in Group GE (p = 0.011). When haemodynamic parameters were compared, at all time intervals except baseline measurement, blood pressure and heart rate were significantly lower in Group GE (p < 0.05). Levels of stress hormones, glucose, cortisol, insulin and prolactin remained significantly lower in Group GE.
Conclusion: Epidural anaesthesia, performed in addition to general anaesthesia, may be a comfortable anaesthesia method with its suppressive effects on intraoperative and postoperative stress response together with reduced pain scores in the postoperative period.
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