Background: Laparoscopic hysterectomy (LH) is expected to provide fast and comfortable recovery, plus an early return to normal daily activities. This study was carried out to compare the outcome after LH in patients anesthetized with isoflurane or propofol.
Methods: Sixty-two patients undergoing LH were randomized to receive either isoflurane-N2O or propofol-N2O anesthesia. The times when the patients could drink, void and walk were recorded. Recovery was also evaluated by the Digit Symbol Substitution Test in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) 60 and 120 min after the operation. The patients were also given a questionnaire on their further recovery (return to daily activities, pain and nausea) to be filled out at home.
Results: Early recovery was significantly (P < 0.05) faster in the isoflurane group (eye opening within 3 min, orientation in 6 min) when compared to the propofol group (eye opening within 7 min, orientation in 14 min), but there was no significant difference in the other parameters of recovery. Most of the patients were discharged from the hospital on the first postoperative day in both groups. Twenty-five percent of the patients, however, stayed two nights in hospital, mainly for social reasons. No difference was found regarding the recovery at home: the patients resumed their normal daily activities on about the sixth postoperative day (median).
Conclusions: It is concluded that both isoflurane and propofol are suitable anesthetics for LH. In this study recovery was not fast enough to make the patients suitable for same-day surgery.