An outcome study comparing intravenous sedation with midazolam/fentanyl (conscious sedation) versus propofol infusion (deep sedation) for aesthetic surgery
Hasen KV, Samartzis D, Casas LA, Mustoe TA.
McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, USA.
Plast Reconstr Surg. 2003 Nov;112(6):1683-9; discussion 1690-1.


The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in measurable outcomes following aesthetic procedures performed under intravenous sedation with incremental doses of midazolam and fentanyl and those performed under propofol infusion. The authors' hypothesis was that the differences in these outcome parameters are not significant between these intravenous sedation protocols. All intraoperative and perioperative records of 84 consecutive patients having aesthetic surgery under a conscious sedation protocol using incremental doses of intravenous midazolam and fentanyl were retrospectively reviewed and compared with the records of a second group of 85 patients having aesthetic surgery under a deep sedation regimen based primarily on propofol infusion. All procedures were hospital based and performed by two surgeons. Twenty-eight different parameters were examined by chart review. In addition, a patient questionnaire was used to assess patient satisfaction and patient recall of operative and perioperative pain, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting. Multivariate statistical analysis was conducted. The two sedation groups were similar with regard to aesthetic procedures performed and patient demographics. The mean duration of operative time was statistically equivalent (152 minutes and 153 minutes). In both groups, there were minor adverse intraoperative events reported but no significant complications. Transient hypotension was more common in the propofol infusion group (12.9 percent versus 2.4 percent, p = 0.018), but no patient required intervention beyond reducing the sedative agent or increasing intravenous fluids. The amount of supplemental fentanyl given intraoperatively was significantly higher in the group whose primary agent for sedation was propofol infusion than the group who received midazolam/fentanyl (209 mug and 143 mug, respectively). The overall questionnaire response rate was 80 percent for both groups. The midazolam/fentanyl sedation group had more recall of "unpleasant intraoperative events" (17 percent versus 3 percent, p = 0.007). However, both groups had low recall of intraoperative pain, anxiety, and nausea. The propofol infusion group experienced significantly more nausea in the recovery room (p = 0.002), nausea at the time of discharge (p = 0.009), and nausea the evening after the operation (p = 0.013). Greater than 90 percent of the patients in both groups would have the same anesthetic in the future rather than undergo general anesthesia. Patient safety, outcomes, and satisfaction are similar in plastic surgery procedures performed under sedation protocols using either incremental doses of midazolam and fentanyl or propofol infusion. All operative and postoperative outcomes for pain, anxiety, and vomiting were similar in the two groups except for immediate postoperative nausea, which was higher in the propofol infusion group. The overall satisfaction of patients undergoing plastic surgery procedures under these intravenous sedation protocols appears very high.
Molecular mechanisms
Inhalational techniques
A thalamocortical switch?
Anaesthesia and anaesthetics
Anaesthesia: rivalries and discoveries
Midazolam as an intravenous induction agent
Consciousness, anaesthesia and anaesthetics
First use of anaesthetics in different countries

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Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
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Critique of Huxley's Brave New World