Herlofson, E. A. G., Tavola, F., Engdahl, K. S. et al. 2023. Evaluation of primary wound healing and potential complications after perioperative infiltration with lidocaine without adrenaline in surgical incisions in dogs and cats. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 65(1), 21.

Pre-emptive local analgesia with the use of lidocaine is practised increasingly in veterinary medicine as part of applied multimodal analgesia, despite its controversial impact on wound healing. The purpose of this prospective, randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical study was to evaluate if preoperative subcutaneous infiltration of lidocaine has a negative impact on primary wound healing of surgical incisions. Fifty-two companion animals (3 cats and 49 dogs) were enrolled in the study. The inclusion criteria were as follows: American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) score I or II, a minimum body weight of 5 kg, and a planned incisional length of at least 4 cm. Surgical incisions were infiltrated subcutaneously with lidocaine without adrenaline or NaCl (placebo). Follow-up questionnaires for owners and veterinarians and thermography of the surgical wound were used to assess wound healing. Antimicrobial use was documented. here was no significant difference in either the total score or the individual assessment points between the treatment and the placebo group on the owner or the veterinary questionnaires in regard to primary wound healing (P > 0.05 for all comparisons). No significant difference was found between the thermography results of the treatment and placebo group (P = 0.78), and there was no significant correlation between the total score from the veterinary protocol and thermography results (Spearman’s correlation coefficient − 0.10, P = 0.51). Surgical site infections developed in 5/53 (9.4%) surgeries and its occurrence varied significantly between the treatment and the placebo group as all cases of infection were in the placebo group (P = 0.05). The results of this study indicate that lidocaine used as a local anaesthetic did not affect wound healing in patients with ASA scores I-II. The results suggest that lidocaine infiltration in surgical incisions can be safely used to reduce pain.

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