For Endarterectomy, Local and General Anesthesia Show Similar Outcomes
21 dec 2008--Patients undergoing endarterectomy under local anesthesia have a slightly lower rate of perioperative complications, but the advantage is not definite, according to an international Lancet study.
Some 3500 patients were randomized to local or general anesthesia before undergoing open carotid endarterectomy. By the 30-day mark, slightly fewer patients in the local anesthesia group than in the general anesthesia group had experienced stroke, MI, or death (4.5% vs. 4.8%) — but the difference did not reach statistical significance.
The authors conclude that "there is no reason to prefer general over local anesthesia, or vice versa, as routine for carotid endarterectomy."