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Logo of archplastsurgArchives of Plastic Surgery
Arch Plast Surg. 2012 September; 39(5): 540–545.
Published online 2012 September 12. doi:  10.5999/aps.2012.39.5.540
PMCID: PMC3474413

Usefulness of Intravenous Anesthesia Using a Target-controlled Infusion System with Local Anesthesia in Submuscular Breast Augmentation Surgery



Patients have anxiety and fear of complications due to general anesthesia. Through new instruments and local anesthetic drugs, a variety of anesthetic methods have been introduced. These methods keep hospital costs down and save time for patients. In particular, the target-controlled infusion (TCI) system maintains a relatively accurate level of plasma concentration, so the depth of anesthesia can be adjusted more easily. We conducted this study to examine whether intravenous anesthesia using the TCI system with propofol and remifentanil would be an effective method of anesthesia in breast augmentation.


This study recruited 100 patients who underwent breast augmentation surgery from February to August 2011. Intravenous anesthesia was performed with 10 mg/mL propofol and 50 µg/mL remifentanil simultaneously administered using two separate modules of a continuous computer-assisted TCI system. The average target concentration was set at 2 µg/mL and 2 ng/mL for propofol and remifentanil, respectively, and titrated against clinical effect and vital signs. Oxygen saturation, electrocardiography, and respiratory status were continuously measured during surgery. Blood pressure was measured at 5-minute intervals. Information collected includes total duration of surgery, dose of drugs administered during surgery, memory about surgery, and side effects.


Intraoperatively, there was transient hypotension in two cases and hypoxia in three cases. However, there were no serious complications due to anesthesia such as respiratory difficulty, deep vein thrombosis, or malignant hypertension, for which an endotracheal intubation or reversal agent would have been needed. All the patients were discharged on the day of surgery and able to ambulate normally.


Our results indicate that anesthetic methods, where the TCI of propofol and remifentanil is used, might replace general anesthesia with endotracheal intubation in breast augmentation surgery.

Keywords: Anesthesia, intravenous; Mammaplasty; Propofol; Remifentanil

Articles from Archives of Plastic Surgery are provided here courtesy of Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons