What are the options for postoperative pain control?
There are several options available for
postoperative pain control. Regional anesthetic techniques are the prefer-able
choice for these patients because excellent analgesia can be obtained without
the use of opioids, which would increase the risk for postoperative apnea.
These techniques include caudal block, ilioinguinal, and iliohypogastric nerve
blocks, and local anesthetic infiltration of the wound
It is important to keep track
of the amount of local anesthetic injected to prevent toxic levels in these
typically very low weight neonates. Acetaminophen administered orally or
rectally is another option for pain control, especially as the regional block
subsides. Finally, IV opioids may be administered but the patient must be
closely observed for apnea.