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Intravesical Morphine Analgesia after Bladder Surgery

The Journal of Urology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0022-5347(01)65001-8


ABSTRACT Purpose A recent demonstration of peripheral opioid receptors suggested the possibility of delivering morphine locally into the bladder after reimplantation for ameliorating the discomfort of postoperative bladder irritation with spasms. Since we do not use bladder drainage after reimplantation, dripping a morphine solution into the bladder permits contact with the urothelium between voidings. A pilot trial using an arbitrary concentration was subjectively beneficial for treating these patients postoperatively. We now report a prospective randomized study evaluating the effectiveness and dosage of various concentrations of intravesical morphine infusions. Materials and Methods A total of 52 children undergoing ureteral reimplantation was randomized to receive 1 of 3 concentrations of intravesical morphine (0.05, 0.375 or 0.5 mg./ml.). A small feeding tube remained in the bladder to drip a continuous infusion postoperatively. Subsequent postoperative pain was treated with meperidine, acetaminophen and codeine, and/or a belladonna and opium suppository. During each shift a nurse assisted the child in assessing pain using a Baker-Wong faces scale. Bladder infusion was discontinued after day 3 postoperatively and plasma morphine levels were measured on the first morning postoperatively. Kruskal-Wallis and paired t tests were used to evaluate significance. Results Patients reported greater pain in the group infused with 0.05 mg./ml. on 4 of 6 shifts on the first 2 days postoperatively. No difference was noted on postoperative day 3. Plasma morphine was undetectable by high pressure liquid chromatography. Conclusions This study offers objective evidence that bladder morphine infusion is effective for ameliorating postoperative pain in the first 48 hours after intravesical ureteral reimplantation. The dose given today is 0.5 mg./ml. delivered at 0.04 ml./kg. per hour.

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