Current choices--good or bad--for the proactive management of postoperative ileus: A surgeon's view.

Rush Medical College, Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.
Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing (Impact Factor: 0.89). 05/2006; 21(2A Suppl):S7-15. DOI: 10.1016/j.jopan.2006.01.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Postoperative ileus (POI) is frequently experienced by many patients undergoing abdominal operations and other surgical procedures. Postoperative ileus causes physical discomfort and may increase risk for prolonged hospital length of stay. Despite its prevalence, there is currently no accepted standard definition of POI and, consequently, no standardized mode of prevention or treatment; it is no wonder that a variety of management approaches for POI have been developed. Some of these include alternative surgical techniques such as laparoscopic or endoscopic procedures to minimize trauma and help lessen the release of endogenous mediators of POI. Others have evaluated alternate analgesic regimens such as thoracic epidural anesthetics to avoid stimulating opioid receptors in the gut. These approaches have had varying results. Other pharmacologic attempts to reduce POI have focused on the blockade of opioid receptors to prevent opioid-induced GI-related adverse effects. A new class of agents, peripherally acting mu-opioid-receptor antagonists such as methylnaltrexone and alvimopan, may improve the pharmacologic management of POI and reshape the current paradigm of multimodal management of POI. Protocols that incorporate these agents may offer yet another avenue to mitigate the adverse effects of POI, and thus help improve surgical outcomes. To date, alvimopan has been shown in phase 3 clinical trials to significantly reduce the duration of POI while maintaining satisfactory analgesia and reducing length of hospital stay. Combinations of strategies with demonstrated effectiveness such as early feeding, epidural analgesia, laparoscopic surgery, and peripherally acting mu-opioid-receptor antagonists may help transform the management of POI into an effective multimodal paradigm that targets the diverse etiologic factors leading to this common clinical problem. Clearly, all surgical team members are crucial in the optimal implementation of such multimodal approaches.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although management techniques have been proposed to accelerate gastrointestinal recovery after elective bowel resection (BR), most data are derived from single-institution experience. This study assessed the current state of perioperative care for elective BRs and the effect of pathway components on length of stay. A web-based survey was conducted among surgeons regarding their last elective BR. Among 207 general and 200 colorectal surgeons, 30% practice in hospitals with a perioperative surgical care pathway intended to accelerate gastrointestinal recovery. Pathway components included early ambulation, early diet progression, early nasogastric tube removal/avoidance, and opioid-sparing pain control. Care practices associated with decreased length of stay included laparoscopic technique, early mobilization, early liquids, and antiemetic use to prevent symptoms associated with prolonged postoperative ileus. Few hospitals have pathways but most surgeons likely would implement nationally endorsed guidelines. These data, along with other studies, may lead to well-accepted BR care pathways.
    American journal of surgery 03/2010; 199(3):299-304; discussion 304. DOI:10.1016/j.amjsurg.2009.08.027 · 2.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Alvimopan, a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist, decreased time to gastrointestinal recovery and hospital length of stay in open bowel resection patients in Phase 3 trials. However, the benefit in laparoscopic colectomy patients remains unclear. A retrospective case series review was performed to study addition of alvimopan to a well-established standard perioperative recovery pathway for elective laparoscopic colectomy. The main outcome measures were length of stay and incidence of charted postoperative ileus. Wilcoxon and chi-square tests were used to calculate P values for length of stay and postoperative ileus endpoints, respectively. Demographic/baseline characteristics from the 101 alvimopan and 64 pre-alvimopan control patients were generally comparable. Mean length of stay in the alvimopan group was 1.55 days shorter (alvimopan, 2.81±0.95 days; control, 4.36±2.4 days; P<.0001). The proportion of patients with postoperative ileus was lower in the alvimopan group (alvimopan, 2%; control, 20%; P<.0001). In this case series, addition of alvimopan to a standard perioperative recovery pathway decreased length of stay and incidence of postoperative ileus for elective uncomplicated laparoscopic colectomy. The improvement in the mean length of stay for patients who receive alvimopan is a step forward in achieving a fasttrack surgery model for elective laparoscopic colectomies.
    JSLS: Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons / Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons 01/2011; 15(4):492-8. DOI:10.4293/108680811X13176785204076 · 0.79 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Postoperative ileus, a temporary cessation in bowel motility, is a common and significant complication of major surgery. Consequences of postoperative ileus include increased patient discomfort, delayed time to adequate nutrition, prolonged length of stay, and increased cost to the patient and healthcare system. The traditional, multi-modal approach to the resolution of postoperative ileus includes opioid minimization, early ambulation, and early feeding. Newer medications, such as methlynaltrexone and alvimopan (which are peripherally acting mu opioid receptor antagonists), have become available and have proven beneficial for use with postoperative ileus.
    Orthopedics 03/2012; 35(3):213-7. DOI:10.3928/01477447-20120222-08 · 1.05 Impact Factor