Article Abstract

Intramuscular stimulation as a novel alternative method of pain management after thoracic surgery

Authors: Duk Hwan Moon, Jinyoung Park, Du-Young Kang, Hye Sun Lee, Sungsoo Lee


Background: The purpose of this study was to determine whether electrical twitch-obtaining intramuscular stimulation (ETOIMS) can be an alternative to intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IV-PCA) for postoperative pain management in pneumothorax patients undergoing single-port video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS).
Methods: This preliminary prospective randomized study was conducted between March 2017 and July 2017. A total of 26 patients undergoing single-port VATS were randomly assigned to two groups: the ETOIMS group (n=12), which received intramuscular stimulation prior to chest tube insertion toward the end of procedure, and the IV-PCA group (n=14), which received continuous infusion of fentanyl with a basal rate of 10 µg/mL/h. To measure postoperative pain, visual analogue scale (VAS; range, 0–10) was used as the primary endpoint.
Results: Baseline characteristics were not different between the two groups. According to the linear mixed model, there was statistical difference in the serial VAS score between the two groups (P=0.007). The ETOIMS group showed a significantly lower VAS score compared with the IV-PCA group, especially at postoperatively hour 8, day 1, and day 2.
Conclusions: We showed that ETOIMS may be a safe, effective, and simple alternative for pain management after single-port VATS.