PURPOSE - Pyeloplasty is increasingly performed on a short stay basis. We sought to determine what patient and treatment variables affect postoperative pain and length of stay, and whether an open approach could be considered "minimally invasive."
MATERIALS AND METHODS - We performed a retrospective review of patients younger than 10 years who underwent open pyeloplasty between 2001 and 2007. All patients received ketorolac every 6 hours and acetaminophen with codeine as needed. Data extracted from the medical records included morphine and codeine usage, patient age and gender, incision type, operative time, stent usage and outcome data (pain scores and length of stay). Multiple regression analyses were used to determine the association between variables and outcomes.
RESULTS - A total of 51 patients met the inclusion criteria. Patient age and gender, operative time and stent usage had no significant correlation with mean or median pain scores. Children who received morphine had significantly higher mean, median and maximum pain scores and length of stay (33 vs 23 hours) than those who did not receive morphine. Multiple regression analyses revealed that morphine usage and dorsal lumbotomy incision were independently associated with higher mean, median and maximum pain scores, and a nephroureteral catheter was correlated with a higher maximum pain score. The only variable associated with length of stay was morphine usage.
CONCLUSIONS - Morphine usage was the most significant variable associated with increased pain scores and increased length of stay. Ketorolac and acetaminophen/codeine provide better pain control, and allow children to return home within 24 hours. With mean pain scores less than 1 this series demonstrates that open pyeloplasty can be "minimally invasive."