The effect of deep muscle relaxation on the force required during Latissimus Dorsi dissection for breast reconstructive surgery: Results of a prospective, double-blinded observational pilot study

T. Ledowski, A. Goodwin-Walters, P. Quinn, M. Calvert

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Background: The use of neuromuscular blocking agents has previously been suggested to facilitate the dissection of the latissimus dorsi muscle during breast reconstructive surgery. The aim of this study was to quantify the influence of deep muscle relaxation on the force required to lift the latissimus dorsi muscle during flap preparation. Methods: After ethics approval and written informed consent 15 patients scheduled for elective breast reconstruction with a latissimus dorsi pedicled flap (muscle flap, not myocutaneous flap) under general anaesthesia were prospectively included. Midway through the muscle dissection a sterile cotton tape was slung around the mid portion of the muscle and connected with a sterile strain gauge stably positioned just above the patient. Thereafter, the muscle was lifted by moving the strain gauge vertically upwards until a muscle tension similar to that created manually during muscle dissection was achieved. The force (N) and distance required to tension the muscle were recorded and the tension released. In a randomized and blinded crossover design either rocuronium (0.6 mg.kg-1) or normal saline were given intravenously, and the tension protocol was repeated 2 min after each drug administration. Results: Muscle relaxation significantly reduced the force for flap tensioning (median [percentiles] - 22 [-32/-13] %; P = 0.011) in 10/15 patients. However, in the remaining 5 patients no significant effect was measured. Normal saline had no effect on the measured force. Conclusions: Deep muscle relaxation significantly reduces the force required to manually elevate the latissimus dorsi muscle during its dissection in the majority of but not all patients. Trial registration: The study was retrospectively registered on [17.6.2014] with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry. ACTRN12614000637640

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number27
    JournalBMC Anesthesiology
    Volume17
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2017

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