Intraoperative and Postoperative Effects of Dexmedetomidine and Tramadol Added as an Adjuvant to Bupivacaine in Transversus Abdominis Plane Block

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Korkutata Z., Tekeli A. E., Kurt N.

Journal of Clinical Medicine, vol.12, no.22, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 22
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/jcm12227001
  • Journal Name: Journal of Clinical Medicine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: bupivacaine, cholecystectomy, dexmedetomidine, tramadol, transversus abdominis plane block
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Background: We aimed to evaluate the intraoperative hemodynamics, opioid consumption, muscle relaxant use, postoperative analgesic effects, and possible adverse effects (such as nausea and vomiting) of dexmedetomidine and tramadol added as adjuvants to bupivacaine in the transversus abdominis plane block (TAP block) to provide postoperative analgesia. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective, randomized, controlled trial on patients who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy. After obtaining ethical approval at the Van Yuzuncu Yil University and written informed consent, this investigation was registered with (NCT05905757). The study was conducted with 67 patients with ASA I–II physical status, aged 20–60 years, of either sex who were scheduled for an elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy under general anesthesia. Exclusion criteria were the patient’s refusal, ASA III and above, a history of allergy to the study drugs, patients with severe systemic diseases, pregnancy, psychiatric illness, seizure disorder, and those who had taken any form of analgesics in the last 24 h. The patients were equally randomized into one of two groups: Group T (TAP Block group) and Group D (Dexmedetomidin group). Standard general anesthesia was administered. After intubation, Group T (Bupivacaine + adjuvant tramadol) = solutions containing 0.250% bupivacaine 15 mL + adjuvant 1.5 mg/kg (100 mg maximum) tramadol 25 mL and Group D (Bupivacaine + adjuvant dexmedetomidine) = solutions containing 0.250% bupivacaine 15 mL + 0.5 mcg/kg and (50 mcg maximum) dexmedetomidine 25 mL; in total, 40 mL and 20 mL was applied to groups T and D, respectively. A bilateral subcostal TAP block was performed by the same anesthesiologist. Intraoperative vital signs, an additional dose of opioid and muscle relaxant requirements, complications, postoperative side effects (nausea, vomiting), postoperative analgesic requirement, mobilization times, and the zero-hour mark (patients with modified Aldrete scores of 9 and above were recorded as 0 h), the third-hour, and sixth-hour visual analog scale (VAS) scores were recorded. The main outcome measurements were the effect on pain scores and analgesic consumption within the first 6 h postoperatively, postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), and time to ambulation. The secondary aim was to evaluate intraoperative effects (on hemodynamics and opioid and muscle relaxant consumption). Results: It was observed that dexmedetomidine and tramadol did not have superiority over each other in terms of postoperative analgesia time, analgesic consumption, side effect profile, and mobilization times (p > 0.05). However, more stable hemodynamics were observed with dexmedetomidine as an adjuvant. Conclusions: We think that the use of adjuvant dexmedetomidine in the preoperative TAP block procedure will provide more stable intraoperative hemodynamic results compared with the use of tramadol. We believe that our study will be a guide for new studies conducted with different doses and larger numbers of participants.