Current techniques and strategies for anesthesia in patients undergoing peripheral bypass surgery

J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 2014 Apr;55(2 Suppl 1):207-16.


Peripheral arterial disease is an illness with a high prevalence in Europe and North America. The disease is associated with a significant impact on quality of life. Despite advanced medical and endovascular treatments, surgery is often indicated to prevent the consequences of ischemic injury. Usually, these patients do have significant comorbidities resulting in an increased risk for anesthesia-related complications. While general anesthesia is commonly used for the majority of the patients, local and regional anesthesia (RA) offer several possible advantages such as stable cardiovascular hemodynamic perioperative course, improved postoperative pain relief and prevention of chronic postsurgical pain syndromes. This review will discuss perioperative management, available evidence regarding general anesthesia and various regional anesthetic techniques for peripheral vascular surgery, and the current advises regarding anticoagulants and RA. No definitive conclusions can be drawn from the existing literature with respect to superiority of general or neuraxial anesthesia or even RA. Maybe the profits lie in the combination of techniques, a strategy, to overcome the risks of one and use the benefits of the other technique. From circumstantial evidence, it is most likely that the experience of the anesthetic and surgical team is one of the major determinants of perioperative complications independent from the individual anesthesia technique.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia / adverse effects
  • Anesthesia / methods*
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / diagnosis
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / epidemiology
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects