Anaesthetic regimens for day-procedure laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Jessica Vaughan, Myura Nagendran, Jacqueline Cooper, Brian R Davidson, Kurinchi Selvan Gurusamy
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014 January 24, (1): CD009784

BACKGROUND: Day surgery involves admission of selected patients to hospital for a planned surgical procedure with the patients returning home on the same day. An anaesthetic regimen usually involves a combination of an anxiolytic, an induction agent, a maintenance agent, a method of maintaining the airway (laryngeal mask versus endotracheal intubation), and a muscle relaxant. The effect of anaesthesia may continue after the completion of surgery and can delay discharge. Various regimens of anaesthesia have been suggested for day-procedure laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

OBJECTIVES: To compare the benefits and harms of different anaesthetic regimens (risks of mortality and morbidity, measures of recovery after surgery) in patients undergoing day-procedure laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library (Issue 10, 2013), MEDLINE (PubMed) (1987 to November 2013), EMBASE (OvidSP) (1987 to November 2013), Science Citation Index Expanded (ISI Web of Knowledge) (1987 to November 2013), LILACS (Virtual Health Library) (1987 to November 2013), metaRegister of Controlled Trials ( (November 2013), World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) portal (November 2013), and (November 2013).

SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomized clinical trials comparing different anaesthetic regimens during elective day-procedure laparoscopic cholecystectomy (irrespective of language or publication status).

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and independently extracted the data. We calculated the risk ratio, rate ratio or mean difference with 95% confidence intervals based on intention-to-treat or available data analysis.

MAIN RESULTS: We included 11 trials involving 1069 participants at low anaesthetic risk. The sample size varied from 40 to 300 participants. We included 23 comparisons. All trials were at a high risk of bias. We were unable to perform a meta-analysis because there were no two trials involving the same comparison. Primary outcomes included perioperative mortality, serious morbidity and proportion of patients who were discharged on the same day. There were no perioperative deaths or serious adverse events in either group in the only trial that reported this information (0/60). There was no clear evidence of a difference in the proportion of patients who were discharged on the same day between any of the comparisons. Overall, 472/554 patients (85%) included in this review were discharged as day-procedure laparoscopic cholecystectomy patients. Secondary outcomes included hospital readmissions, health-related quality of life, pain, return to activity and return to work. There was no clear evidence of a difference in hospital readmissions within 30 days in the only comparison in which this outcome was reported. One readmission was reported in the 60 patients (2%) in whom this outcome was assessed. Quality of life was not reported in any of the trials. There was no clear evidence of a difference in the pain intensity, measured by a visual analogue scale, between comparators in the only trial which reported the pain intensity at between four and eight hours after surgery. Times to return to activity and return to work were not reported in any of the trials.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is currently insufficient evidence to conclude that one anaesthetic regimen for day-procedure laparoscopic cholecystectomy is to be preferred over another. However, the data are sparse (that is, there were few trials under each comparison and the trials had few participants) and further well designed randomized trials at low risk of bias and which are powered to measure differences in clinically important outcomes are necessary to determine the optimal anaesthetic regimen for day-procedure laparoscopic cholecystectomy, one of the commonest procedures performed in the western world.

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