Recovery following outpatient anesthesia: Use of enflurane versus propofol

Yifeng Ding, Brian Fredman, Paul F. White*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Study Objective: To compare the intraoperative conditions and postoperative recovery of patients following the use of either propofol-nitrous oxide (N2O) or enfurane-N2O for maintenance of outpatient anesthesia. Design: Randomized, single-blind study. Setting: University hospital outpatient surgery center. Patients: 61 ASA physical status I and II, healthy female outpatients undergoing laparoscopic surgery. Interventions: Patients were randomly assigned to one of three anesthetic regimes. Group 1 (control) received thiopental sodium 4 mg/kg intravenously (IV), followed by 0.5% to 1.5% enfurane and 67% N20 in oxygen (O2). Group 2 received propofol 2 mg/kg IV, followed by 0.5% to 1.5% enfurane and 67% N2O in O2. Group 3 received propofol 2 mg/kg IV, followed by propofol 50 to 160 μg/kg/min IV and 67% N2O in O2. All patients received succinylcholine 1 mglkg IV to facilitate tracheal intubation and atracurium 10 to 20 mg IV to provide adequate relaxation during the maintenance period. Measurements and Main Results: Recovery from anesthesia was assessed by a research nurse who was unaware of the anesthetic technique used. The mean ± SD time to eye opening was significantly longer in the thiopental-enflurane-N2O group (Group 1) than in the propofol-propofol-N20 group (Group 3) (6.1 ± 2.5 minutes vs. 3.5 ± 2.8 minutes, respectively). In addition, the mean time to respond to verbal commands was significantly shorter in the propofol induction groups compared with the thiopental induction group. However, the use of enfurane versus propofol for maintenance of anesthesia did not significantly prolong the time from arrival in the recovery room to sitting, tolerating oral fluids, walking, or being judged "fit for discharge." There were no differences among the three groups with respect to postoperative pain or analgesic requirements. Finally, patients who received enfurane for maintenance of anesthesia had a significantly higher frequency of nausea and vomiting than the propofol maintenance group. Conclusion: Induction of anesthesia with propofol is associated with a more rapid emergence from anesthesia than induction with thiopental. Maintenance of anesthesia with enfurane did not prolong recovery compared with maintenance with propofol, but enfurane was associated with increased frequency of postoperative nausea and vomiting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-450
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Enflurane
  • nausea and vomiting
  • postoperative pain
  • propofol
  • thiopental sodium


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