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News

Dexamethasone improves outcome after laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Dexamethasone reduces pain, fatigue, and vomiting in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy, find researchers in the November issue of the Annals of Surgery.

News image

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Pain and fatigue are the main symptoms following laparoscopic cholecystectomy. These may prolong convalescence.

In this study, a team of investigators determined the effects of preoperative dexamethasone on surgical outcome after this procedure.

The team randomized 80 patients to receive either intravenous dexamethasone (8 mg) or placebo 90 minutes before laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Patients in the dexamethasone group resumed recreational activities more quickly.
Annals of Surgery

All patients received a similar standardized anesthetic, surgical, and multimodal analgesic treatment.

The team measured C-reactive protein (CRP) and pulmonary function, pain scores, nausea, and the number of vomiting episodes.

They also recorded analgesic and antiemetic requirements.

Patients reported their fatigue and pain scores daily, before and during the first postoperative week. They also reported when they resumed work and recreational activities.

The investigators found that dexamethasone significantly reduced postoperative levels of CRP, fatigue, overall pain, and incisional pain during the first 24 postoperative hours.

They also found that cumulated overall and visceral pain scores during the first postoperative week were significantly reduced.

Dexamethasone also reduced nausea and vomiting on the day of operation.

Furthermore, patients in the dexamethasone group resumed recreational activities significantly faster than those in the placebo group.

Dr Thue Bisgaard's team concluded, "Preoperative dexamethasone (8 mg) reduced pain, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and duration of convalescence in patients undergoing noncomplicated laparoscopic cholecystectomy".

Ann Surg 2003; 238(5): 651-60
29 October 2003

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