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Article

Efficacy of Multimodal Analgesia for Postoperative Pain Management in Head and Neck Cancer Patients

1
Section of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada
2
Ohlson Research Initiative, Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada
3
Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada
4
Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this paper.
Academic Editor: Christian Simon
Cancers 2021, 13(6), 1266; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061266
Received: 20 January 2021 / Revised: 3 March 2021 / Accepted: 10 March 2021 / Published: 12 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surgical Treatment of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas (HNSCC))
Chronic opioid use is a serious global health problem and surgery is often the point of initial exposure for many chronic opioid users. Multimodal analgesia (MMA) is an approach designed to reduce or eliminate opioid use in surgical patients, but it has not been studied in patients having major head and neck surgery. This study explores the impact of an MMA protocol on opioid prescribing practices in patients having major head and neck surgery with flap reconstruction. The results of this study will provide evidence to inform and guide pain management practice in this important patient population. The results of this study could also be applied to other areas of otorhinolaryngology. MMA is an important tool in the effort to reduce chronic opioid use.
Postoperative opioid use has been linked to the subsequent development of opioid dependency. Multimodal analgesia (MMA) can reduce the use of opioids in the postoperative period, but MMA has not been well-studied after major head and neck surgery. Our goal is to explore the association between MMA and postoperative opioid use and pain control in patients undergoing major head and neck surgery. We performed a retrospective study in adult (age ≥ 18 years) patients undergoing primary head and neck cancer resection with free-flap reconstruction. All patients were treated using an established care pathway. The baseline group was treated between January 2015–December 2015 (n = 41), prior to the implementation of MMA, and were compared to an MMA-treated cohort treated between December 2017–June 2019 (n = 97). The primary outcome was the proportion of opioids prescribed and oral morphine equivalents (OMEs) consumed during the hospitalization. The secondary outcome was pain control. We found that the post-MMA group consumed fewer opioids in the postoperative period compared to the pre-MMA group. Prior to post-operative day (POD) 6, pain control was better in the post-MMA group; however, the pain control lines intersect on POD 6 and the pre-MMA group appeared to have better pain control from PODs 7–10. In conclusion, our data suggest MMA is an effective method of pain control and opioid reduction in patients undergoing surgery for head and neck cancer with free flap reconstruction. MMA use was associated with a significant decrease in the quantity of opioids consumed postoperatively. The MMA protocol was associated with improved pain management early in the postoperative course. Finally, the MMA protocol is a feasible method of pain control and may reduce the adverse side effects associated with opioid use. View Full-Text
Keywords: multimodal analgesia; perioperative pain control; postoperative pain; head and neck surgery; head and neck cancer multimodal analgesia; perioperative pain control; postoperative pain; head and neck surgery; head and neck cancer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hinther, A.; Nakoneshny, S.C.; Chandarana, S.P.; Matthews, T.W.; Hart, R.; Schrag, C.; Matthews, J.; McKenzie, C.D.; Fick, G.H.; Dort, J.C. Efficacy of Multimodal Analgesia for Postoperative Pain Management in Head and Neck Cancer Patients. Cancers 2021, 13, 1266. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061266

AMA Style

Hinther A, Nakoneshny SC, Chandarana SP, Matthews TW, Hart R, Schrag C, Matthews J, McKenzie CD, Fick GH, Dort JC. Efficacy of Multimodal Analgesia for Postoperative Pain Management in Head and Neck Cancer Patients. Cancers. 2021; 13(6):1266. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061266

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hinther, Ashley, Steven C. Nakoneshny, Shamir P. Chandarana, T. W. Matthews, Robert Hart, Christiaan Schrag, Jennifer Matthews, C. D. McKenzie, Gordon H. Fick, and Joseph C. Dort 2021. "Efficacy of Multimodal Analgesia for Postoperative Pain Management in Head and Neck Cancer Patients" Cancers 13, no. 6: 1266. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061266

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