Date of this Version


Document Type

DNP Project




Background: Traditional anesthesia for cardiac surgery involved high opioid use associated with adverse events and poor outcomes which led to the adoption of multi-modal analgesic approaches. Although improvements in the overall opioid consumption are seen with multi- modal analgesic approaches, recent studies in opioid-sparing anesthesia and regional anesthesia can further reduce the operative use of opioids in cardiac surgery to improve patient outcomes. Methods: A comprehensive study search was conducted using CINAHL and MEDLINE (ProQuest) to identify research studies from the past three years that have focused on opioid- sparing anesthesia or opioid-free techniques in patients undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass.

Results: Six research studies were identified as relevant for review. The studies included in this literature review address opioid-sparing anesthesia in cardiac surgery through different techniques, investigate the feasibility for implementation, the role of regional anesthesia, and individual intraoperative pharmacological adjuvants in cardiac surgery requiring cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB).

Keywords: Opioid-sparing anesthesia, cardiac surgery, cardiac anesthesia, cardiopulmonary bypass, regional anesthesia, opioid crisis, dexmedetomidine.