Non-opioid analgesics and post-operative pain following transoral robotic surgery for oropharyngeal cancer

K. M. Van Abel, A. B. Sauer, S. C. Kruthiventi, T. N. Weingarten, D. B. Noel, D. L. Price, J. L. Kasperbauer, J. R. Janus, K. D. Olsen, E. J. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract Objective To investigate associations between multimodal analgesia and post-operative pain among patients undergoing transoral robotic surgery for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Methods Records of patients who underwent surgery from 5 September 2012 to 30 November 2016 were abstracted. Associations were assessed using multivariable analysis. Results A total of 216 patients (mean age of 59.1 years, 89.4 per cent male) underwent transoral robotic surgery (92.6 per cent were human papilloma virus positive, 87.5 per cent had stage T1-T2 tumours, and 82.9 per cent had stage N0-N1 nodes). Gabapentin (n = 86) was not associated with a reduction in severe pain. Ibuprofen (n = 72) was administered less often in patients with severe pain. Gabapentin was not associated with increased post-operative sedation (p = 0.624) and ibuprofen was not associated with increased bleeding (p = 0.221). Post-operative opioid usage was not associated with surgical duration, pharyngotomy, bilateral neck dissections, tumour stage, tumour size, subsite or gabapentin. Conclusion Scheduled low-dose gabapentin was not associated with improved pain control or increased respiratory depression. Ibuprofen was not associated with an increased risk of bleeding and may be under-utilised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-534
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Laryngology and Otology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 10 2022


  • Analgesics
  • Non-Narcotic
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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