What is the ideal anesthetic for ambulatory surgery?
No single anesthetic is ideal for every procedure per-formed. However, the goal of the anesthetic is to allow for patient discharge shortly after the procedure’s completion. An ideal general anesthetic agent would have a rapid onset, permit a rapid return to baseline levels of lucidity and equilibrium, and be free of deleterious cardiovascular and respiratory effects. It would provide intraoperative amne-sia, analgesia, and muscle relaxation and would possess anti-nausea and anti-emetic properties. Unfortunately, such a marvelous single agent is not in existence at the present time. In an attempt to avoid some of the unpleasant side-effects associated with general anesthesia, regional anesthetic techniques including field blocks, intravenous regional block (Bier block), various approaches to the brachial plexus, ankle block, and spinal and epidural anesthesia have been offered to patients as an alternative to general anesthesia.