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Laparoscopic cholecystectomy under spinal anesthesia: comparative study between conventional-dose and low-dose hyperbaric bupivacaine

Authors Imbelloni L, SanťAnna R, Fornasari M, Fialho JC

Published 3 October 2011 Volume 2011:4 Pages 41—46


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Luiz Eduardo Imbelloni1, Raphael Sant'Anna2, Marcos Fornasari2, José Carlos Fialho2
1Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medecine Nova Esperança, Hospital de Mangabeira, João Pessoa, 2Hospital Rio Laranjeiras, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Background: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy has the advantages of causing less postoperative pain and requiring a short hospital stay, and therefore is the treatment of choice for cholelithiasis. This study was designed to compare spinal anesthesia using hyperbaric bupivacaine given as a conventional dose by lumbar puncture or as a low-dose by thoracic puncture.
Methods: A total of 140 patients with symptomatic gallstone disease were randomized to undergo laparoscopic cholecystectomy with low-pressure CO2 pneumoperitoneum under spinal anesthesia using either conventional lumbar spinal anesthesia (hyperbaric bupivacaine 15 mg and fentanyl 20 mg) or low-dose thoracic spinal anesthesia (hyperbaric bupivacaine 7.5 mg and fentanyl 20 µg). Intraoperative parameters, postoperative pain, complications, recovery time, and patient satisfaction at follow-up were compared between the two treatment groups.
Results: All procedures were completed under spinal anesthesia, with no cases needing conversion to general anesthesia. Values for time for block to reach the T3 dermatomal level, duration of motor and sensory block, and hypotensive events were significantly lower with low-dose bupivacaine. Postoperative pain was higher for low-dose hyperbaric bupivacaine at 6 and 12 hours. All patients were discharged after 24 hours. Follow-up 1 week postoperatively showed all patients to be satisfied and to be keen advocates of spinal anesthesia.
Conclusion: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be performed successfully under spinal anesthesia. A small dose of hyperbaric bupivacaine 7.5 mg and 20 µg fentanyl provides adequate spinal anesthesia for laparoscopy and, in comparison with hyperbaric bupivacaine 15% and fentanyl 20 µg, causes markedly less hypotension. The low-dose strategy may have an advantage in ambulatory patients because of the earlier recovery of motor and sensory function and earlier discharge.

Keywords: cholecystectomy, laparoscopic, spinal anesthesia

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