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Int J Obstet Anesth. 1997 Jan;6(1):49-51.

Spinal anesthesia versus intravenous sedation for transvaginal oocyte retrieval: reproductive outcome, side-effects and recovery profiles.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Gynecology, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont 05401, USA.


Transvaginal ultrasonically guided oocyte retrieval is commonly performed as part of in vitro fertilization efforts. The impact of anesthetic management on patient outcome from this procedure has not been well characterized. At our institution, patients are offered a choice of either heavy intravenous sedation or spinal anesthesia with minimal or no sedatives. In this pilot study, we retrospectively reviewed the anesthetic management, reproductive outcome and recovery room experience for all patients having oocyte retrieval during a 2-year interval (n = 95). Fifty-one oocyte retrievals were performed under spinal anesthesia, while 44 patients received solely intravenous sedatives. Both groups had similar reproductive outcomes. The intravenous sedation group required a significantly longer period until recovery room discharge criteria were met (P = 0.03), and were more likely to have postoperative emetic episodes (46% versus 6% in the spinal anesthesia group: P < 0.01). Two unplanned hospital admissions occurred in the intravenous sedation group: both were related to uncontrolled nausea and vomiting. We conclude that spinal anesthesia may have advantages over intravenous sedation for oocyte retrieval.

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