Regional anesthesia for laparoscopic surgery: A narrative review

George Vretzakis, Metaxia Bareka, Diamanto Aretha, Menelaos Karanikolas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Laparoscopic surgery has advanced remarkably in recent years, resulting in reduced morbidity and shorter hospital stay compared with open surgery. Despite challenges from the expanding array of laparoscopic procedures performed with the use of pneumoperitoneum on increasingly sick patients, anesthesia has remained largely unchanged. At present, most laparoscopic operations are usually performed under general anesthesia, except for patients deemed "too sick" for general anesthesia. Recently, however, several large, retrospective studies questioned the widely held belief that general anesthesia is the best anesthetic method for laparoscopic surgery and suggested that regional anesthesia could also be a reasonable choice in certain settings. This narrative review is an attempt to critically summarize current evidence on regional anesthesia for laparoscopic surgery. Because most available data come from large, retrospective studies, large, rigorous, prospective clinical trials comparing regional vs. general anesthesia are needed to evaluate the true value of regional anesthesia in laparoscopic surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-446
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Anesthesia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Anesthesia
  • Epidural
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Local
  • Neuraxial
  • Regional
  • Spinal


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