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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1998 Jan;42(1):106-10.

Desflurane versus propofol maintenance for outpatient laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesia, Ullevaal University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



The aims of the study were to evaluate costs and clinical characteristics of desflurane-based anaesthetic maintenance versus propofol for outpatient cholecystectomy.


All 60 patients received ketamine 0.2 mg kg(-1), fentanyl 2 microg kg(-1) and propofol 2 mg kg(-1) for induction. Ketorolac 0.4 mg kg(-1) and ondansetron 0.05 mg kg(-1) +droperidol 20 microg kg(-1) was given as prophylaxis for postoperative pain and emesis, respectively. The patients were randomly assigned into Group P with propofol maintenance and opioid supplements, or Group D with desflurane in a low-flow circuit system.


All the patients were successfully discharged within 8 h without any serious complications. Emergence from anaesthesia was more rapid after desflurane; they opened their eyes and stated date of birth at mean 6.4 and 8.4 min respectively, compared with 9.6 and 12 min in the propofol group (P<0.05). Nausea and pain were more frequent in Group D, 40% and 80% respectively; versus 17% and 50% in Group P (P<0.05). By telephone interview at 24 h and 7 d after the procedure, there was no major difference between the groups. With desflurane, drug costs per case were 10 $ lower than with propofol.


We conclude that desflurane is cheaper and has a more rapid emergence than propofol for outpatient cholecystectomy. However, propofol results in less pain and nausea in the recovery unit. Despite ondansetron and droperidol prophylaxis, there was still a substantial amount of nausea and vomiting after desflurane.

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