Purpose: Our study introduces a novel anesthetic protocol for neonates without using volatile agents with the goal to minimize potentially neurotoxic and pro-apoptotic agents. The authors evaluated the short-term safety and efficacy of our anesthetic protocol in patients undergoing early cleft lip repair (ECLR).
Methods: A retrospective review of ECLR patients who underwent repair before 2.5 months of age within the last 4.3 years was performed. This sample was comprised of 2 groups, those who received either a standard volatile gas-based regimen or a dexmedetomidine-based neonatal anesthetic protocol (DBNAP). Patient demographics, medication dosing, anesthetic time (induction to extubation), major and minor complications, and medication side effects were compared between the 2 cohorts.
Results: A total of 101 patients underwent ECLR. All patients were American Society of Anesthesiologists class 1 or 2. Mean age at surgery was 31 ± 13 days and mean anesthetic time was 179 ± 36 minutes. DBNAP was used in 65 patients while the standard anesthetic protocol was used in 36 patients. Patient weight was significantly lower in the DBNAP group (4.01 ± 0.61 versus 4.38 ± 0.72 kg, P = 0.007). There were no significant differences between the 2 cohorts when comparing anesthetic time, emergence time, complication rate, or medication side effects.
Conclusion: For patients undergoing ECLR, DBNAP is perioperatively equivalent to the anesthetic standard of care, demonstrating no major complications and acceptable rates of minor complications and medication side effects.
Wlodarczyk et al.
The Journal of craniofacial surgery November-December 2021