Regional anaesthesia and propofol sedation for carotid endarterectomy

Christopher Barringer, John M. Williams, Alastair McCrirrick, Jonothan J. Earnshaw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Many surgeons now perform carotid endarterectomy under regional anaesthesia. The aim of the present study was to review a sedation technique using a computer-controlled infusion of propofol. Methods: A consecutive series of 84 carotid endarterectomies done by a single surgeon and commenced under regional anaesthesia with sedation was studied. There were 54 men and 27 women (three bilateral procedures), with a median age of 71 years (range 48-87 years). All patients had carotid stenosis >70%; 80 procedures were done for symptomatic disease and three asymptomatic patients were treated before cardiac surgery (one bilateral). Results: Seventy-seven procedures were completed under regional anaesthesia and sedation alone; seven required conversion to general anaesthetic, usually for intolerance of the operation. An intraoperative shunt was required on only four occasions (5%). Postoperatively eight patients required critical care monitoring, usually for blood pressure control. The remainder were nursed on the vascular ward, and 68% were discharged home on the day after surgery. No patient died, but there were two neurological complications. One patient had a cerebellar stroke 10 days after surgery, but recovered fully after 4 months. A second developed cerebral oedema due to severe intraoperative hypertension and required intensive care for 15 days. He too recovered fully. Five patients had a further episode of transient cerebral ischaemia within 1 month of operation, but in all cases duplex imaging showed a widely patent carotid and there were no sequelae. Conclusion: Target controlled propofol infusion is an effective method of sedation in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-549
Number of pages4
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Intravenous sedation
  • Local anaesthetic


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