Dexamethasone in combination with dolasetron for prophylaxis in the ambulatory setting: Effect on outcome after laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Margarita Coloma, Paul F. White, Scott D. Markowitz, Charles W. Whitten, Amy R. Macaluso, Sally B. Berrisford, Kevin C. Thornton

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83 Scopus citations


Background: Postoperative nausea and vomiting after laparoscopic cholecystectomy remains a common problem despite routine antiemetic prophylaxis. Therefore, the authors investigated the effect of administering 4 mg intravenous dexamethasone as an adjunct to a 5-HT3 antagonist (12.5 mg intravenous dolasetron) with respect to patient outcome. Methods: Outpatients (N = 140) were enrolled in this prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, institutional review board-approved protocol involving two antiemetic treatment groups. After induction of anesthesia, the control group received 1 ml intravenous saline, whereas the dexamethasone group received 4 mg intravenous dexamethasone. Both groups received 12.5 mg intravenous dolasetron at the time of gallbladder removal. A blinded observer recorded the recovery times, emetic episodes, rescue antiemetics, maximum nausea score, and time to achieve discharge criteria. Postdischarge side effects, as well as patient satisfaction and quality of recovery scores were assessed at 24 h after surgery. Results: Although there was no difference in the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting in the early recovery period, the dexamethasone group had a shorter stay in the day-surgery unit (136 ± 57 vs. 179 ± 62 min) and more rapidly achieved discharge criteria (161 ± 32 vs. 209 ± 39 min). In addition, fewer patients in the dexamethasone group experienced nausea at home within 24 h after discharge (13 vs. 28%, P < 0.05). Finally, the dexamethasone group reported higher quality of recovery and patient satisfaction scores (P < 0.05). Conclusions: The authors conclude that the adjunctive use of 4 mg intravenous dexamethasone shortened the time to achieve discharge criteria and improved the quality of recovery and patient satisfaction scores after laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedures in outpatients receiving prophylaxis with 12.5 mg intravenous dolasetron.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1346-1350
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002


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