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Total intravenous anesthesia versus inhalation anesthesia: how do outcomes compare?

RECENT FINDINGS: Surgical procedures that involve general anesthesia are performed with either volatile anesthetics or propofol-based total intravenous anesthesia. Both techniques are safe and provide appropriate conditions for surgery. Despite being a well established anesthetic, the use of propofol-based total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) remains low. Possible explanations include the perceived increase risk of awareness, lack of target controlled infusion devices, increased turnover time for device set up and individual preference.

SUMMARY: There are some scenarios where patients could potentially benefit from propofol-based TIVA rather than a volatile anesthetic (e.g. postoperative nausea and vomiting) and some other clinical scenarios where the use of propofol-based anesthesia remains controversial since the strength of the evidence remains low.

PURPOSE: In this review we will summarize the clinical evidence comparing the effect of propofol-based TIVA and volatile anesthetic on postoperative outcomes such as postoperative nausea and vomiting, postoperative pain, quality of recovery, postoperative cognitive dysfunction and cancer outcomes.

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