Aim: To evaluate the opioid-sparing effect of selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors on short-term surgical outcomes after open colorectal surgery.
Methods: Patients undergoing open colorectal resection within an enhanced recovery after surgery protocol from 2011 to 2015 were reviewed. Patients with combined general anesthesia and epidural anesthesia, and those with acute colonic obstruction or perforation were excluded. Patients receiving selective COX-2 inhibitor were compared with well-matched individuals without such a drug. Outcome measures included numeric pain score and morphine milligram equivalent (MME) consumption on postoperative day (POD) 1-3, gastrointestinal recovery (time to tolerate solid diet and time to defecate), complications and length of postoperative stay.
Results: There were 75 patients in each group. Pain score on POD 1-3 was not significantly different between two groups. However, MME consumption and MME consumption per kilogram body weight on POD 1-3 was significantly less in patients receiving a selective COX-2 inhibitor (P < 0.001). Median MME consumption per kilogram body weight on POD 1-3 was 0.09, 0.06 and nil, respectively in patients receiving a selective COX-2 inhibitor and 0.22, 0.25 and 0.07, respectively in the comparative group (P < 0.001), representing at least 59% opioid reduction. Patients prescribing a selective COX-2 inhibitor had a shorter median time to resumption of solid diet [1 (IQR 1-2) d vs 2 (IQR 2-3) d; P < 0.001] and time to first defecation [2 (IQR 2-3) d vs 3 (IQR 3-4) d; P < 0.001]. There was no significant difference in overall postoperative complications between two groups. However, median postoperative stay was significantly 1-d shorter in patients prescribing a selective COX-2 inhibitor [4 (IQR 3-5) d vs 5 (IQR 4-6) d; P < 0.001].
Conclusion: Perioperative administration of oral selective COX-2 inhibitors significantly decreased intravenous opioid consumption, shortened time to gastrointestinal recovery and reduced hospital stay after open colorectal surgery.
Keywords: Colon surgery; Enhanced recovery after surgery; Ileus; Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug; Opioid; Outcome; Pain; Rectal surgery; Selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor.