12 December 2014
There is no clear consensus as to the appropriate anesthetic technique for patients undergoing a carotid endarterectomy. Such patients may have comorbid conditions, such as coronary artery disease, hyperlipidemia, and others. The two main anesthetic approaches are general anesthesia, including an endotracheal tube, with neurological monitoring, and regional anesthesia that allows for an awake patient to be assessed neurologically. The objective of our report was to evaluate a novel anesthetic technique that combined general anesthesia with a laryngeal mask airway (LMA) plus regional anesthesia in the form of bupivacaine injected into the surgical site. Anesthesia was maintained with desflurane 4%, so the patient emerged rapidly for neurological assessment at the conclusion of surgery. We report on a case of a 55-year-old patient who underwent a successful carotid endarterectomy using this hybrid technique of general anesthesia with LMA plus regional anesthesia. This technique was safe and effective, and the patient experienced no complications other than a hematoma on the left neck that was likely the result of long-term use of aspirin and Plavix. While further study is warranted, this hybrid technique of general anesthesia with LMA plus regional anesthesia holds promise for carotid endarterectomy patients.