• Vol. 32 No. 6, 828–831
  • 15 November 2003

Remifentanil in the Management of Laparoscopic Resection of Phaeochromocytoma – Case Reports

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: The laparoscopic adrenalectomy approach to phaeochromocytoma surgery offers the opportunity to use new short-acting drugs to facilitate rapid recovery.

Clinical Picture: We report on 2 cases who underwent laparoscopic resection of phaeochromocytoma. The first was a 40-year-old lady who had been started on phenoxybenzamine 20 mg bd, but developed a recurrence of bronchial asthma after starting atenolol which was subsequently stopped. The second was a 51-year-old lady with neurofibromatosis who was taking phenoxybenzamine 20 mg bd and propanolol 20 mg tds.

Treatment: The intraoperative management was facilitated by the stress suppressive effects of remifentanil infusion combined with nitroprusside as a vasodilator, and desflurane as an anaesthetic.

Outcome: Both patients were extubated at the end of surgery and made uneventful recovery.

Conclusion: Remifentanil possesses several useful properties, which deserve serious consideration in phaeochromocytoma surgery, particularly in the instance where β-blockade is contraindicated. In combination with other titratable short-acting agents, it potentially facilitates rapid recovery especially following the laparoscopic approach to adrenalectomy.


The perioperative management of surgery for laparoscopic resection of phaeochromocytoma presents a significant challenge. Many different anaesthetic techniques and drugs have been used to control the haemodynamic fluctuations during phaeochromocytoma resection.

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