Muscle Relaxation in Laparoscopic Surgery: What is the Evidence for Improved Operating Conditions and Patient Outcome? A Brief Review of the Literature

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22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBA) were introduced into clinical practice in 1942, the event was called the "second revolution in anesthesia." Despite some significant side effects, NMBAs have remained in the anesthetists' repertoire, not at least because muscle relaxation has been claimed to allow or facilitate many surgical procedures. Aim of this literature review was to investigate the evidence for the use of NMBA as well as the optimum depth of neuromuscular blockade during laparoscopic surgery. Muscle relaxation may optimize laparoscopic operating conditions by preventing patient movement and achieving more intra-abdominal space for a given intra-abdominal insufflation pressure. In this context, deeper than normally maintained levels of neuromuscular blockade appear to be superior. However, the decision to utilize deeper than standard muscle relaxation should currently be based on a risk-benefit analysis for each individual patient. Thus good communication between surgeon and anesthetist remains crucial to achieve best outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-285
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical Laparoscopy, Endoscopy and Percutaneous Techniques
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

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