Reduced Pain and Opioid Use in the Early Postoperative Period in Patients Undergoing a Frontotemporal Craniotomy under Regional vs General Anesthesia

Elird Bojaxhi, Christopher Louie, Karim ReFaey, Shaun E. Gruenbaum, Bruce J. Leone, Perry Bechtel, Maria P. Barbosa, Kaisorn L. Chaichana, Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: This study compares the postsurgical course of frontotemporal craniotomies conducted “awake” under regional anesthesia (RA) versus “asleep” under general anesthesia (GA) to investigate postoperative recovery, pain, opioid use, and anesthesia-related side effects. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed craniotomies for supratentorial, intra-axial tumors with frontotemporal exposure. Chronic opioid use and emergent cases were excluded. Primary outcomes included pain scores on a 0–10 numerical rating scale, opioid use as oral morphine milligram equivalence, first time to opioid use, nausea, and sedation on the Richmond Agitation and Sedation Scale (RASS). Secondary outcomes included postoperative seizures, Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) status, and hospital length of stay (LOS). Results: A total of 91 patients met inclusion criteria: 56 underwent a craniotomy under RA versus 35 under GA. Demographics and operative characteristics were similar between cohorts. A significant reduction in both postoperative pain and opioid use was observed among RA versus GA (first postoperative pain score 2 vs. 5, P < 0.01; postoperative day [POD] 0 median pain score 2.5 vs. 4, P < 0.01; POD 0 mean opioid in mg 14.49 vs. 24.43, P < 0.01). The time until patients requested opioids for pain after surgery was prolonged for RA versus GA [mean 7.23 vs. 3.42 hours, P < 0.01). Somnolence (RASS < 0) on POD 0 was significantly reduced among RA versus GA, with 23% versus 43%. Both cohorts had equivocal postsurgical outcomes such as seizures, KPS, and hospital LOS. Conclusions: Frontotemporal craniotomy under RA during awake craniotomies provides better pain control, a reduction in opioid use, and less somnolence in the early postoperative period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalWorld neurosurgery
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Awake craniotomy
  • Postoperative pain
  • Regional anesthesia
  • Scalp block

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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