Dexmedetomidine to Levobupivacaine for Transversus Abdominis Plane Block in Elderly Patients Undergoing Inguinal Hernia Repair Surgery


The perioperative management of pain following abdominal surgery can pose a challenge to anesthesia providers. Conventional practice has involved the use of opioids as well as neuraxial analgesic techniques. Unfortunately, these therapies are not without potential risks and side effects. These include nausea, vomiting, pruritus, urinary retention, constipation, respiratory depression, and sedation.

Full Title of Study: “Addition of Dexmedetomidine to Levobupivacaine for Transversus Abdominis Plane Block in Elderly Patients Undergoing Inguinal Hernia Repair Surgery: Could it Make a Difference?”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: December 30, 2020

Detailed Description

As a result, the goal to reduce perioperative pain has taken on a multimodal approach. Multimodal or "balanced" analgesia uses a combination of opioid and nonopioid analgesics to improve pain control and minimize opioid-related side effects. These include the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, local anesthetics, peripheral nerve blocks, gabapentinoids, and alpha2 adrenergic agonists. Any combination of these therapies can help reduce the surgical stress response and improve patient outcomes such as pain control, patient satisfaction, time to discharge, and return to daily activities. One method used in this multimodal approach is the transversus abdominis plane block. As first described by Rafi in 2001, this block provides analgesia to the anterolateral abdominal wall. In 2007, further studied this technique in patients undergoing large-bowel resection. He discovered a reduction in postoperative pain and morphine consumption in the first 24 hours postoperatively, resulting in fewer opioid-mediated side effects. In this same year, Hebbard described the use of ultrasound guidance to provide real-time imaging of the muscle layers and needle placement to improve TAP block accuracy. In 2008, Hebbard. described the subcostal approach of TAP blocks, to target the nerves of the upper abdomen. Transversus abdominis plane blocks continue to be studied and developed as an effective method for providing analgesia for numerous types of abdominal surgeries.


  • Drug: Levobupivacaine
    • Levobupivacaine 5%
  • Drug: Dexmedetomidine Hydrochloride
    • Levobupivacaine 5% + 1 µg/kg dexmedetomidine.
  • Drug: Fentanyl
    • Levobupivacaine 5% + 1µg/kg fentanyl

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Group L
    • 30 Patients will receive Levobupivacaine 5%
  • Experimental: LD group
    • 30 patients will receive Levobupivacaine 5% + 1 µg/kg dexmedetomidine.
  • Experimental: LF group
    • 30 patients will receive Levobupivacaine 5% + 1µg/kg fentanyl

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • first analgesic request
    • Time Frame: 24 hours postoperative
    • time for the first analgesia rescue call.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • ASA status I, II, and III patients, – aged 60-75 y, – both male and female, – undergoing inguinal hernia repair surgery. Exclusion Criteria:

  • morbid obesity (BMI > 40), – spine metastatic tumor, allergy to an amide LA, or magnesium sulfate, – heart block, renal, or liver dysfunction, substance abuse disorder, chronic opioid use, or electrolyte disturbance, administration of any sedative, preexisting mental illness, psychological or emotional problems.

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 60 Years

Maximum Age: 75 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Assiut University
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Ghada Mohammed AboelFadl, Principal investigator – Assiut University

Citations Reporting on Results

Milone M, Di Minno MN, Musella M, Maietta P, Salvatore G, Iacovazzo C, Milone F. Outpatient inguinal hernia repair under local anaesthesia: feasibility and efficacy of ultrasound-guided transversus abdominis plane block. Hernia. 2013 Dec;17(6):749-55. doi: 10.1007/s10029-012-1022-2. Epub 2012 Nov 16.

Favuzza J, Brady K, Delaney CP. Transversus abdominis plane blocks and enhanced recovery pathways: making the 23-h hospital stay a realistic goal after laparoscopic colorectal surgery. Surg Endosc. 2013 Jul;27(7):2481-6. doi: 10.1007/s00464-012-2761-y. Epub 2013 Jan 26.

Walter CJ, Maxwell-Armstrong C, Pinkney TD, Conaghan PJ, Bedforth N, Gornall CB, Acheson AG. A randomised controlled trial of the efficacy of ultrasound-guided transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block in laparoscopic colorectal surgery. Surg Endosc. 2013 Jul;27(7):2366-72. doi: 10.1007/s00464-013-2791-0. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

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