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Propofol: Thriller or Killer

McCarver, Lewis MS, CRNA; Spear, Marcia ACNP-BC, CPSN, CWS

doi: 10.1097/PSN.0b013e3181cfe649

Known by the proprietary name Diprivan or its generic name propofol, this anesthetic drug is among the most widely used sedatives in the United States. Propofol has a unique pharmacologic profile, making it an ideal drug for use in plastic surgery nursing. Propofol is utilized as an anesthetic induction agent and sedative during many plastic surgeries. This article explores indications, pharmacokinetics, adverse effects, and potential abuse of propofol.

Lewis McCarver, MS, CRNA, Nurse Anesthetist, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Monroe Carroll Children's Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee, and Assistant Program Administrator, Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia, Madison.

Marcia Spear, ACNP-BC, CPSN, CWS, Nurse Practitioner and Certified Wound Specialist, Department of Plastic Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

Address correspondence to Lewis McCarver, MS, CRNA, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, D-4207 Medical Center North, Nashville, TN 37232 (e-mail:

The authors have no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses