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Preoperative single-dose intravenous dexamethasone during ambulatory surgery: update around the benefit versus risk

Jakobsson, Jan

Current Opinion in Anesthesiology: December 2010 - Volume 23 - Issue 6 - p 682–686
doi: 10.1097/ACO.0b013e32833ff302
Ambulatory anesthesia: Edited by Jan G. Jakobsson

Purpose of review Pain, emesis, and fatigue are not uncommon symptoms after ambulatory surgery having impact on patients' satisfaction with quality of care. Multimodal management of postoperative pain and nausea and vomiting has become standard of care.

Recent findings There is a growing body of evidence for the beneficial effects from preoperative single-dose intravenous (i.v.) glucocorticoids for reducing pain, emesis, and fatigue, thereby improving the recovery process and patient satisfaction. Side-effects are infrequently reported.

Summary The benefits versus risk associated to single preoperative i.v. dose of dexamethasone seem positive based on current evidence facilitating the recovery reducing pain and postoperative nausea and vomiting.

Department of Anesthesia & Intensive Care, Institution for Physiology & Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Correspondence to Jan Jakobsson, MD, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Department of Anaesthesia, Hand & Foot Surgical Center, Storängsvägen 10, 115 42 Stockholm, Sweden Tel: +46 8 70 250 09 60; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.