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ISSN: 1642-5758
Anaesthesiology Intensive Therapy
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vol. 55
Original article

The efficacy of ultrasound-guided triple nerve block (ilioinguinal, iliohypogastric, and genitofemoral) versus unilateral subarachnoid block for inguinal hernia surgery in adults: a randomized controlled trial

Gagan Preet Singh
1, 2
Gaurav Kuthiala
Anupam Shrivastava
Deepika Gupta
Ritul Mehta

Fellow Royal College of Anaesthesia, United Kingdom
Department of Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Gastrociti Hospital, Ludhiana (Punjab), India
Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, SPS Hospitals, Ludhiana (Punjab), India
Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, India
Orison Hospital, Ludhiana (Punjab), India
Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2023; 55, 5: 342–348
Online publish date: 2024/12/30
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The present study was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of ultrasound-guided triple nerve block (ilioinguinal, iliohypogastric, and genitofemoral) versus unilateral subarachnoid block for adult male patients undergoing unilateral inguinal hernia surgery.

Material and methods:
Sixty ASA I-III adult male patients > 18 years old, scheduled for unilateral inguinal hernia surgery were randomly allocated into 2 groups of 30 patients each. In Group A (n = 30) the patients received ultrasound-guided nerve block (ilioinguinal, iliohypogastric, and genitofemoral), and in Group B (n = 30) the patients received unilateral subarachnoid block. The primary outcome was to assess postoperative analgesic efficacy (visual analogue scale [VAS] scores at rest and during coughing/ambulation). The secondary outcomes were time to first rescue analgesia with morphine, the total dose of morphine used as rescue analgesia, urinary retention, time to first micturition, time to first unassisted walking, and time to discharge from the surgical recovery room.

The mean pain scores at 1, 2, 4, and 6 hours during rest and during coughing/ambulation were significantly lower in Group A when compared to patients in Group B (P < 0.001). There was no requirement for rescue analgesic opioids in Group A (P < 0.001). Mean time to first micturition and mobilization occurred earlier in Group A, leading to early discharge from the recovery room (P < 0.001). No major side effects were observed in any of the study groups.

Ultrasound-guided triple nerve block technique can be used as a sole anaesthetic technique for inguinal hernia surgery because it not only provides optimal anaesthesia intra-operatively but also has a favourable analgesic and opioid-sparing efficacy in the early postoperative period with minimal adverse effects.


postoperative analgesia, inguinal hernia, triple nerve block, iliohypogastric, ilioinguinal, genitofemoral nerve block

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