Post-Surgical Epidural May Boost Survival

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter
Washington Post

Tuesday, August 12, 2008; 12:00 AM

TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) — Epidural anesthesia may not only be the best way to control pain after major surgery, it may also improve post-operative survival, Canadian researchers report.

The use of epidural anesthetics for major surgery has been somewhat controversial. There doesn’t seem to be much question that it effectively reduces pain, but its safety has caused some concern.

“Using an epidural for pain control after a major operation was safe and actually caused a slightly improved survival for patients who received an epidural,” said lead researcher Dr. Duminda Wijeysundera, from Ontario’s Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, department of anesthesia, at Toronto General Hospital and the University of Toronto. More…