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The Use of Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Protocols and Sugammadex in a Friedreich Ataxia Patient Who Underwent Robotic Surgery: A Case Report of a Patient Who Required No Postoperative Opioids and Was Discharged Home Earlier Than Anticipated

Robotic surgery has shown to have numerous benefits over traditional and laparoscopic surgery, namely, superior precision and improved recovery with shorter hospital stays. However, robotic surgery also presents several issues, including hemodynamic changes related to positioning and the use of pneumoperitoneum. These matters can be problematic in patients with neuromuscular conditions such as Friedreich ataxia (FRDA). Due to a baseline weakened musculature and a higher prevalence of cardiac disease and scoliosis, patients with FRDA may not be as likely to tolerate the cardiopulmonary physiologic changes associated with robotic surgery. Additionally, positioning for robotic surgery can be challenging in FRDA patients who have progressed to spasticity and contractures. To date there are no case reports of approaches specifically discussing anesthesia management for robotic surgery in the FRDA patient population. Anesthesia in general must be carefully planned in FRDA patients to allow for the best possible recovery and minimize complications. Due to the underlying neuromuscular compromise seen in these patients, their ability to recover from the pharmacologic and physiologic changes associated with anesthesia can be more difficult. They are prone to sensitivity to opioids, sedatives, and neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) and are less likely to tolerate hemodynamic changes. Literature review revealed no routine use of Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols in FRDA patients or in patients with neuromuscular disease in general. The use of sugammadex has also been shown to be safe, and literature suggests superiority in both the general population and those with neuromuscular conditions. The authors’ understanding is that there is very limited literature in regard to the safe use of sugammadex in FRDA patients.

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