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Extended pain relief trial utilizing infiltration of Exparel®, a long-acting multivesicular liposome formulation of bupivacaine: a Phase IV health economic trial in adult patients undergoing open colectomy

Authors Cohen S

Received 28 September 2012

Accepted for publication 3 November 2012

Published 20 November 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 567—572


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Stephen M Cohen

Atlanta Colon and Rectal Surgery, PA, Atlanta, GA, USA

Background: The majority of surgical patients experience significant levels of pain after a procedure. While opioid analgesics have been a mainstay of postsurgical analgesic regimens, recent evidence has supported the use of multimodal therapy as a way to decrease opioid usage with its concomitant opioid-related adverse events. The goal of multimodal therapy is to minimize the negative effects of these events on clinical and economic outcomes. The purpose of this study was to assess the opioid burden and health economic outcomes in patients undergoing open colectomy who received a liposomal bupivacaine-based multimodal analgesic regimen as compared with a standard opioid-based regimen for postsurgical pain.
Methods: In this open-label, single-center, sequential-cohort study, adults undergoing open colectomy were assigned to treatment via patient-controlled analgesia with opioids (first cohort) or multimodal analgesia therapy including a single administration of liposomal bupivacaine (second cohort). Both treatment groups were offered rescue analgesia as needed. The main outcome measures were total mg amount of opioids consumed after surgery, total hospital costs, and length of hospital stay. Adverse events, including opioid-related adverse events, were recorded.
Results: Thirty-nine patients were enrolled, 18 in the opioid-based analgesia group and 21 in the multimodal analgesia group. Mean total amount of postsurgical opioids consumed was significantly less in the multimodal analgesia group (57 mg) compared with the opioid analgesia group (115 mg; P = 0.025). The average total cost of hospitalization in the multimodal group was $8766 versus $11,850 in the opioid group (P = 0.027), and the median length of hospital stay was 2.0 days versus 4.9 days, respectively (P = 0.004).
Conclusion: This study confirmed that a liposomal bupivacaine–based multimodal analgesic regimen resulted in less opioid consumption, lower hospital costs, and a shorter length of stay than a standard opioid-based analgesic regimen for postsurgical pain in patients undergoing open colectomy.

Keywords: surgery, multimodal analgesia, opioid consumption, cost, length of stay

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