Surgical site infiltration for abdominal surgery: A novel neuroanatomical-based Approach

Girish P. Joshi, Jeffrey E. Janis, Eric M. Haas, Bruce J. Ramshaw, Mikio A. Nihira, Brian J. Dunkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Provision of optimal postoperative analgesia should facilitate postoperative ambulation and rehabilitation. An optimal multimodal analgesia technique would include the use of nonopioid analgesics, including local/regional analgesic techniques such as surgical site local anesthetic infiltration. This article presents a novel approach to surgical site infiltration techniques for abdominal surgery based upon neuroanatomy. Methods: Literature searches were conducted for studies reporting the neuroana-tomical sources of pain after abdominal surgery. Also, studies identified by preceding search were reviewed for relevant publications and manually retrieved. Results: Based on neuroanatomy, an optimal surgical site infiltration technique would consist of systematic, extensive, meticulous administration of local anesthetic into the peritoneum (or preperitoneum), subfascial, and subdermal tissue planes. The volume of local anesthetic would depend on the size of the incision such that 1 to 1.5mL is injected every 1 to 2cm of surgical incision per layer. It is best to infiltrate with a 22-gauge, 1.5-inch needle. The needle is inserted approximately 0.5 to 1cm into the tissue plane, and local anesthetic solution is injected while slowly withdrawing the needle, which should reduce the risk of intravascular injection. Conclusions: Meticulous, systematic, and extensive surgical site local anesthetic infiltration in the various tissue planes including the peritoneal, musculofascial, and subdermal tissues, where pain foci originate, provides excellent postoperative pain relief. This approach should be combined with use of other nonopioid analgesics with opioids reserved for rescue. Further well-designed studies are necessary to assess the analgesic efficacy of the proposed infiltration technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1181
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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