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A retrospective audit of three different regional anaesthetic techniques for circumcision in children

Departments of Anaesthesia and Surgery, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Postoperative analgesia for male circumcision surgery has been traditionally provided by a landmark-based dorsal penile nerve block (DPNB-LM) or by caudal epidural analgesia (CEA). In this study we report on a retrospective analysis of the effectiveness and safety of CEA, DPNB-LM and ultrasound-guided dorsal penile nerve block (DPNB-US) in our institution over a six-year period. Information was gathered from each patient’s medical record. A total of 216 circumcisions were performed on patients aged from five months to 15 years. One hundred and fifteen patients received CEA, 46 DPNB-LM and 55 DPNB-US. Patients in the DPNB-LM group required rescue morphine administration in the recovery unit more frequently (30.4%) than either the DPNB-US (3.5%) or CEA groups (3.6%). Similarly, the DPNB-LM group required a larger total dose of morphine, and had longer recovery ward stays than CEA or DPNB-US groups. Time to first analgesia was greatest for the CEA group while there was no significant difference between time to first analgesia for DPNB-LM and DPNB-US. Sixty-three percent of patients in the DPNB-LM group, 1.7% of CEA and 5.5% of the DPNB-US required intraoperative opiates (P <0.0001). There was no difference in time to hospital discharge.

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