Continuous Erector Spinae Plane Block for Pain Management Following Thoracotomy for Aortic Coarctectomy

Jay D. Holladay, Christopher McKee, Olubukola O. Nafiu, Joseph D. Tobias, Ralph J. Beltran


Pain following thoracotomy is one of the most severe forms of postoperative pain. Post-thoracotomy pain may increase the risk of post-surgical pulmonary complications, postoperative mortality, prolong hospitalization, and increase utilization of healthcare resources. To mitigate these effects, anesthesia providers commonly employ continuous epidural infusions, paravertebral blocks, and systemic opioids for pain management and improvement of pulmonary mechanics. We report the use of a continuous erector spinae plane block (ESPB) via a peripheral nerve catheter for postoperative pain management of an 18-year-old patient who underwent complex aortic coarctation repair via lateral thoracotomy, aided by cardiopulmonary bypass. Continuous ESPB proved to be an acceptable alternative for postoperative pain control, producing a substantial multi-dermatomal sensory block, resulting in adequate pain control, reduced opioid consumption, and a potentially shorter hospital stay.

J Med Cases. 2024;15(1):26-30


Intracranial pressure; Lumbar drain; Epidural catheter; Paravertebral block; Erector spinae plane block; Thoracotomy

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