Abstract

The intrathecal administration of amethocaine plus morphine as an anaesthetic technique for providing surgical anaesthesia and postoperative analgesia was evaluated in 24 patients undergoing transurethral resection of the prostate. The efficacy of the technique was compared with that observed following spinal anaesthesia with amethocaine alone. Twelve patients (group I) received spinal anaesthesia with amethocaine 12–14mg and a further 12 patients (group II) received spinal anaesthesia with amethocaine 12-14mg plus morphine 1 mg. In group II the addition of morphine 1 mg to the amethocaine produced excellent surgical anaesthesia and postoperative analgesia and these patients had significantly less postoperative pain than the patients who received amethocaine alone. There was a high frequency of side-effects associated with intrathecal morphine in group II, for example, subtle respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting and pruritus.

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