Quality of Life and Postoperative Anesthesia in Gastrointestinal Surgery

  • R. Kennelly
  • A. M. Hogan
  • J. F. Boylan
  • D. C. Winter
Reference work entry


Gastrointestinal surgery impacts considerably on quality of life particularly in the post operative period. The magnitude of this effect is governed by the systemic response to surgery and minimally invasive techniques have allowed for considerable advances in this area. Traditionally, the role of the anaesthetist was limited to pain control. Adequate analgesia is essential for rapid rehabilitation after surgery and is a major factor contributing to patient satisfaction. However,  anesthesia may have a further influence by favorably modulating the systemic response, expediting recovery and improving quality of life.

Various anesthetic regimens have been utilized in gastrointestinal surgery. Intraspinal techniques have shown promising results in comparison with more conventional intravenous analgesics but evidence of improved outcome is scarce.

Multimodal post operative care has an undoubted positive impact on patient outcome however the influence of the anesthetic component is difficult to ascertain. Some recent trials have indicated that epidural anesthetic techniques improve QOL in the post operative period when compared to more traditional anesthetic techniques. While these results are encouraging, further clinical trials are needed assessing impact of anesthesia on quality of life before recommendations can be made.


Epidural Analgesia Gastrointestinal Surgery Patient Control Analgesia Good Pain Relief Post Operative Analgesia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


continuous epidural infusion


Cleveland global quality of life questionnaire






Multicentred Australian Study of Epidural Anesthesia


 non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


patient controlled analgesia


patient controlled epidural analgesia


quality of life


randomized controlled trial

SF 8

Short form 8 questionnaire

SF 36

Short form 36 questionnaire


visual analogue scale


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Kennelly
    • 1
  • A. M. Hogan
    • 1
  • J. F. Boylan
    • 1
  • D. C. Winter
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Clinical Outcomes Research and Education (iCORE)St. Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland

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