Objective: To compare intraoperative and 1-hour postoperative outcomes in caudal vs dorsal penile nerve block (DPNB) patients undergoing penile surgeries. Materials and Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of boys <10 years old undergoing penile procedures (2013-2015) using the Pediatric Regional Anesthesia Network, Pediatric Health Information System databases, and our medical records. The primary outcome was a maximum Faces Limbs Activity Crying Consolability pain score of >3. Secondary outcomes were intraoperative-postanesthesia care unit (PACU) narcotics, preincision anesthesia time, adjusted operating room charges, and complications. We performed bivariate and multivariable analyses controlling for demographic and procedural characteristics and clustering by surgeon. Results: Of 738 patients (mean age 2.1 years), 74.1% had a caudal block. DPNB patients were more likely to have a maximum pain score of >3 (19.5% vs 8.1%, P <.0001), receive intraoperative (33.0% vs 2.9%, P <.0001) and PACU (15.7% vs 7.5%, P =.0009) narcotics, and had shorter preincision anesthesia times (19.5 vs 27.9 minutes, P <.0001) and lower adjusted operating room charges ($9,402 vs $12,760, P <.0001). In a bivariate logistic regression, DPNB patients had 2.7 times the odds of a maximum pain score of >3 (95% confidence interval 1.7-4.4, P <.0001) and 5.2 times the odds of intraoperative and PACU narcotic administration (95% confidence interval 3.3-8.1, P <.0001). In multivariable analyses, caudal patients had longer preincision anesthesia times (27.9 ± 7.4 vs 19.5 ± 6.6 minutes, P <.0001) and higher adjusted operating room charges ($12,760 ± 4077 vs $9,402 ± 3741, P =.01). Conclusion: Caudal blocks may offer a small advantage in the immediate postoperative period, although cost-effectiveness is unproven.
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