Outcome Studies Comparing Regional and General Anesthesia


Key Points

  • Outcome studies of regional anesthesia are hindered by sample size issues and the possibility of selection bias; however, overall, regional techniques appear to offer benefits in the postoperative period.

  • Neuraxial anesthesia and analgesia provide significant reduction in pain following major surgery, but to date, its effects on mortality, morbidity, cardiovascular/respiratory complications, and postoperative delirium/cognitive dysfunction are inconclusive.

  • Results of studies investigating the effects of regional anesthesia on cancer recurrence are inadequate, although several prospective trials are currently underway.

  • The limited data available comparing regional anesthesia and general anesthesia suggests benefits for the former with respect to pain management, postoperative comfort, and discharge readiness.


Outcome studies Regional anesthesia General anesthesia Morbidity/mortality Central neural blockade Peripheral nerve block Cognitive dysfunction Postoperative pain Discharge readiness 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiaCork University HospitalCorkIreland
  2. 2.ASSERT for Health CentreUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  3. 3.Department of AnesthesiaSouth Infirmary Victoria University HospitalCorkIreland

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