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Urology. 1994 Aug;44(2):232-6.

Postoperative morbidity is similar in patients anesthetized with epidural and general anesthesia for radical prostatectomy.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.



To compare the effect of epidural and general anesthesia on the postoperative course and complication rate in patients undergoing radical prostatectomy.


Ninety-eight men scheduled for radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) were randomly assigned to receive epidural anesthesia only (EA, n = 34), combined epidural and general anesthesia (EG, n = 33) or general anesthesia only (GA, n = 31). In the EA group, epidural anesthesia was induced and maintained with bupivacaine. In the EG group, patients received epidural bupivacaine after the induction of general anesthesia. In the GA group, anesthesia was induced with morphine and maintained with isoflurane. In the postoperative period, epidural patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) was maintained in all patients for 3 to 5 days. Patients were evaluated throughout the hospitalization period and at 3, 6, and 12 weeks following surgery.


The three groups did not differ with regard to postoperative pain, bleeding, urine output, fever, length of paralytic ileus, or length of hospitalization. No major cardiovascular, pulmonary, or neurologic complications occurred in any of the patients either perioperatively or in the first 3 months postoperatively.


Intraoperative anesthetic technique was not associated with a different postoperative complication rate in patients undergoing RRP. The very low incidence of complications and the uniform postoperative analgesic regimen may have contributed to the similarity between groups.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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