Survey of Postoperative Regional Analgesia for Thoracoscopic Surgeries in Canada
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OBJECTIVES: To determine the preferences and perceptions regarding analgesic options for video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) among thoracic anesthesiologists in Canada. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey of thoracic anesthesiologists with 30 multiple choice questions was e-mailed through an online survey tool called FluidSurveys was performed to members of the Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society. SETTING: A nationwide survey. PARTICIPANTS: Members of Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society who provide thoracic anesthesia INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Participant characteristics and outcomes are described using counts and percentages. The frequency of use of each technique for each surgical category is described in percentages and 95% confidence intervals. Based on the responses obtained from individual centers, approximately 469 anesthesiologists provided thoracic care in Canada at the time of the survey. The response rate to the survey was 19% (n = 89). Epidural analgesia was preferred by 93.42% (95% CI 85-98) for open surgeries compared with 41% (30-52) for VATS lobectomies. The difference was statistically significant-52% (37-67). Patient-controlled analgesia was preferred by 27% (19-39) for VATS lobectomies and 46% (35-57) for VATS minor resections. Only 14% preferred paravertebral block for any VATS surgeries. CONCLUSIONS: The use of analgesic techniques for VATS surgeries is variable and largely dictated by provider preferences. The majority still prefer epidural analgesia compared with paravertebral catheter (placed either by the anesthesiologist or surgeon). A broadly acceptable choice that is effective, safe, and technically less demanding requires comparative effectiveness studies and more uniform training for physicians.
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