The alpha 2-agonist dexmedetomidine (Dex), a sedative and analgesic, reduces heart rate (HR) and blood pressure, and has been used in the practice of anesthesia. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of Dex on hemodynamic variables, anesthetic sparing effects, and recovery profiles in patients who underwent surgery in prone position. The prone position itself can cause a decrease in the systemic blood pressure. Forty patients who undergo lumbar discectomy were randomly assigned to receive either Dex (a loading dose 1 mu g/kg in 10 minutes followed by an infusion rate of 0.2 mu g/kg/hr) or saline. In both groups, the anesthesia was induced with fentanyl, thiopental and rocuronium, and maintained with desflurane in 50% N2O. Mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), HR, cardiac output (CO), and level of anesthesia were monitored. Recovery times and analgesic requirements were also recorded. As a response to endotracheal intubation, a significant increase in MAP and HR was observed in the control group compared to the Dex group, but no difference in CO. The recovery times were significantly shorter in the Dex group compared to the control group. Anesthetic and analgesic requirements of the Dex group were lower than controls. Thus, the use of Dex caused no detrimental effects on the hemodynamic variables in prone position. In addition, Dex decreased pressure response to intubation, and anesthetic and analgesic requirements, shortened recovery times, and decreased postoperative pain level. Dex may be an alternative to currently used adjunctive anesthetic agents in lumbar discectomy operations.