Pain management after open liver resection: Procedure-Specific Postoperative Pain Management (PROSPECT) recommendations

Audrey Dieu, Philippe Huynen, Patricia Lavand'homme, Hélène Beloeil, Stephan M. Freys, Esther M. Pogatzki-Zahn, Girish P. Joshi, Marc Van De Velde

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background and objectives Effective pain control improves postoperative rehabilitation and enhances recovery. The aim of this review was to evaluate the available evidence and to develop recommendations for optimal pain management after open liver resection using Procedure-Specific Postoperative Pain Management (PROSPECT) methodology. Strategy and selection criteria Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in the English language from January 2010 to October 2019 assessing pain after liver resection using analgesic, anesthetic or surgical interventions were identified from MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane databases. Results Of 121 eligible studies identified, 31 RCTs and 3 systematic reviews met the inclusion criteria. Preoperative and intraoperative interventions that improved postoperative pain relief were non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, continuous thoracic epidural analgesia, and subcostal transversus abdominis plane (TAP) blocks. Limited procedure-specific evidence was found for intravenous dexmedetomidine, intravenous magnesium, intrathecal morphine, quadratus lumborum blocks, paravertebral nerve blocks, continuous local anesthetic wound infiltration and postoperative interpleural local anesthesia. No evidence was found for intravenous lidocaine, ketamine, dexamethasone and gabapentinoids. Conclusions Based on the results of this review, we suggest an analgesic strategy for open liver resection, including acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, combined with thoracic epidural analgesia or bilateral oblique subcostal TAP blocks. Systemic opioids should be considered as rescue analgesics. Further high-quality RCTs are needed to confirm and clarify the efficacy of the recommended analgesic regimen in the context of an enhanced recovery program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-435
Number of pages3
JournalRegional anesthesia and pain medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • analgesia
  • pain
  • pain management
  • postoperative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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