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WHEN DO PATIENTS RETURN TO NORMAL ACTIVITY AFTER AMBULATORY SURGERY?

Gan, TJ MB, FRCA; Glass, PSA MB; Ray, J BS; Gogineni, L BS

doi: 10.1097/00000539-199802001-00008
Abstracts of Posters Presented at the International Anesthesia Research Society; 72nd Clinical and Scientific Congress; Orlando, FL; March 7-11, 1998: Ambulatory Anesthesia
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Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, U.S.A.

Abstract S8

INTRODUCTION: Ambulatory surgery forms 60% of all surgical procedures performed in this country and this is expected to increase in the future. Most post-discharge surveys reported were carried out at 24 h and did not specifically enquire about patient's return to normal activity.

METHODS: Following IRB approval and informed patient consent, 80 adult ambulatory surgical patients were enrolled. Patients received a standardized general anesthetic consisting of midazolam premedication, fentanyl/propofol for induction and anesthesia was maintained with fentanyl, isoflurane/N2 O/O2. The anesthesia care providers were instructed to administer an anesthetic to achieve a rapid recovery. Patients' postoperative recovery and criteria for discharge follow normal institutional guidelines. All patients were followed up for 5 days after discharge with a daily questionnaire and phone call. The questionnaire was designed to evaluate common postoperative complications and return to normal daily activity and function. Descriptive statistics were applied to the data.

RESULTS: Completed questionnaires were received from 61 patients. There were 21 men and 40 women. The mean +/- SD for age was 36.9 +/- 14.7 years and weight 75.3 +/- 18.2 kg. Surgical procedures in order of frequency were gynecology, general, otolaryngology, and orthopedic. The results of the questionnaire are presented in Table 1 and Figure 1 and Figure 2 below.

Table 1

Table 1

Figure 1

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 2

CONCLUSION: Malaise, pain, headache, dizziness and nausea can persist for 4-5 days after ambulatory surgery. Ambulatory surgical patients take an average of 3 days to return to normal activity and function. This information is important when giving advice to ambulatory patients regarding their expected postoperative recovery.

© 1998 International Anesthesia Research Society