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April 1989

Epidural Anesthesia in Patients Undergoing Thoracic Surgery

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Temeck, Schafer, and Harmon) and Anesthesiology (Dr Park), Veterans Administration Medical Center and Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC.

Arch Surg. 1989;124(4):415-418. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410040025004

• Epidural anesthesia has been reported to exert beneficial effects in surgical procedures. Over the past 3 years at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Washington, DC, thoracic surgical procedures have been done using a combined technique of epidural anesthesia with light general anesthesia. A retrospective review of this experience from January 1984 to November 1987 was done in 90 consecutive patients. Postoperative extubation of patients was accomplished immediately in 32%, within 1 hour in 34%, within 3 hours in 28%, within 18 hours in 4%, and was prolonged in only 1% of patients. Mortality was 2% and morbidity was 3%. This analysis indicates that the technique of epidural anesthesia with light general anesthesia provided satisfactory anesthesia with low mortality and morbidity in a high-risk group of patients undergoing surgery.

(Arch Surg. 1989;124:415-418)

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