Postoperative Abdominal Pain as a Side Effect of Remifentanil-based Anesthesia in Cataract Surgery

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant professor of Anesthesiology, Imam Reza Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences

2 Resident of Anesthesiology, Imam Reza Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences


Postoperative abdominal pain is one of the complications of anesthetics, especially narcotic drugs. We have noticed that the incidence of this complication is very high in patients anesthetized with Remifentanil and the aim of this study was to investigate its incidence.
Materials and Methods
This clinical trial performed in 2007 at Khatam-al-Anbia Hospital of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences. The study was approved by the local committee of medical ethics. A total of 100 Patients undergoing cataract surgery were divided randomly into two groups. In one group, anesthesia was maintained with Propofol (80-100µg/kg/min) and in another group with Remifentanil (0.20-0.25 µg/kg/min). The incidence of abdominal pain and its quality was recorded in both groups in the recovery room. Data analyzed by SPSS software.
Twenty patients (40%) in the Remifentanil group complained of severe abdominal pain, while in the Propofol group, only 3 patients (6%) had vague abdominal pain. The incidence of pain had a significant difference between the two groups (p<0.001). In 14 patients (70%) of the Remifentanil group with abdominal pain, injection of IV hyoscine was effective to reduce abdomined pain, while in the propofol group, it had no beneficial effect.Conclusion
Abdominal pain is one of the complications of narcotic drugs, with a very high incidence with Remifentanil. It causes patient’s discomfort in the recovery room. It is recommended to investigate the causes and treatment modalities of this complication.