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Liposomal versus plain bupivacaine for pain control following vaginal reconstruction
Department of Urology, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, USA
Oct  2023 (Vol.  30, Issue  5, Pages( 11703 - 11707)
PMID: 37838999


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  • Introduction:

    Liposomal bupivacaine (LB) is a depot formulation of bupivacaine, which releases the drug over 72 hours to prolong local pain control. This retrospective study compares the effect of using LB versus plain bupivacaine on postoperative pain control, length of hospital stay and cost among patients undergoing vaginal reconstructive surgery.

    Materials and methods:

    Patients who underwent vaginal reconstructive surgery with levatorplasty and received an injection of 20 cc of either plain bupivacaine or LB for pudendal nerve block were included. The primary outcomes included postoperative narcotic use and subjective pain score. The secondary outcome was postoperative length of stay. Comparisons between groups were performed using the T test, Mann Whitney U and Chi-square tests with p < 0.05 considered significant.


    Between June 2016 and December 2021, 25 patients had received LB as a pudendal nerve block and 25 had received plain bupivacaine. Demographics between groups were similar. There was no difference between postoperative morphine equivalent dose (MED) for plain bupivacaine versus LB (25.3 ± 65.8 vs. 24.9 ± 31.7 MED; p = 0.159) or length of hospital stay (15.8 ± 12.0 hours vs. 23.8 ± 20.0; p = 0.094). Furthermore, subjective pain was also similar between groups (0 vs. 1.6 ± 2.6, p = 0.68), (4.6 ± 2.3 vs. 4.9 ± 2.0 average POD 1 pain, p = 0.534) and (4.3 ± 2.1 for vs. 4.9 ± 2.1 average POD 2 pain, p = 0.373).


    LB is not superior to plain bupivacaine for controlling pain following vaginal reconstructive surgery, and justification for the exponentially greater cost of LB is not supported. Prospective investigations with larger sample sizes are needed to determine the optimal pain management for levatorplasty in vaginal reconstructive surgery.