Background and objective: The aim of this prospective, randomized study was to compare the preparation and discharge times, the side-effects and patient satisfaction after gynaecological outpatient procedures performed using either spinal block or total intravenous anaesthesia with propofol and remifentanil.
Methods: With Ethics Committee approval and written informed consent, 40 healthy females scheduled for hysteroscopic ablation of endometrial neoplasm were randomly allocated to receive either a spinal block with bupivacaine 0.5% hyperbaric solution 10 mg (n = 20) or total intravenous anaesthesia with propofol and remifentanil (n = 20). Preparation and discharge times, as well as occurrence of untoward events and anaesthesiarelated costs, were recorded.
Results: The median (range) preparation time was 7 (7–10) min with general anaesthesia, and 11 (7–21) min with spinal block (P = 0.00005). No differences in discharge time from the postanaesthesia care unit and incidence of hypotension or bradycardia, or both, were reported between the two groups. Hospital discharge times were 156 (101–345) min after general anaesthesia and 296 (195–720) min after spinal anaesthesia (P = 0.0005). Acceptance of the anaesthesia technique was better after general (100%) than after spinal anaesthesia (75%) (P = 0.04). No differences in total costs were reported between spinal block (€155 (€117–€224)) and propofol-remifentanil general anaesthesia (€143 (€124–€203) (P = 0.125)).
Conclusions: Accurate titration of short-acting intravenous anaesthetic drugs such as propofol and remifentanil results in shorter preparation times and earlier home discharge after outpatient gynaecological procedures compared with spinal anaesthesia with hyperbaric bupivacaine 10 mg, with better patient acceptance and no increased costs.