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Randomized clinical trial of perianal surgery performed under spinal saddle block versus total intravenous anaesthesia. BJS 2010; 97: 12-20.

Published: 24th November 2009

Authors: M. D. Schmittner, H. Schreiber, A. Janke, C. Weiss, J. Blunk, D. G. Bussen et al.


The aim of this randomized clinical trial was to determine whether spinal saddle block (SSB) is superior to total intravenous anaesthesia (TIVA) in perianal surgery.


Suitable patients aged 18–75 years (American Society of Anesthesiologists grade I or II) scheduled to undergo perianal surgery were randomized to SSB (1·0 ml 0·5 per cent hyperbaric bupivacaine) or TIVA with propofol and fentanyl by means of a laryngeal mask. Cumulative consumption of analgesics within 24 h after surgery was recorded, and postoperative recovery and patient satisfaction were evaluated.


A total of 201 patients were randomized. Supplemental analgesia within 24 h after surgery was required by 31 of 101 patients having SSB and 58 of 100 who had TIVA (P < 0·001). Median monitoring time in the recovery room was 5 (range 1–45) min for SSB versus 44 (4–148) min for TIVA (P < 0·001). Patients in the SSB group were able to eat and drink more quickly, although times to mobilization and micturition were not significantly different. Patients having SSB were more likely to describe the anaesthesia as ‘better than expected’.


SSB is superior to TIVA in patients undergoing perianal surgery in terms of analgesic consumption within 24 h after surgery and aspects of postoperative recovery. Registration number: ISRCTN41981381 (http://www.controlled‐trials.com). Copyright © 2009 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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