Improving postoperative quality of care in germ cell tumor patients: Does scheduled alvimopan, acetaminophen, and gabapentin improve short-term clinical outcomes after retroperitoneal lymph node dissection?

Adam C. Calaway, Richard S. Foster, Yan Tong, Timothy A. Masterson, Richard Bihrle, Clint Cary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: To determine the benefits of alvimopan and multimodal pain management strategies in men undergoing retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for testicular cancer. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was completed in men undergoing retroperitoneal lymph node dissection from January 2017 to May 2018. Patients were placed into the 3-drug, 2-drug, and control cohorts as a result of a prospectively determined protocol during the study period. Men in the 3-drug group were managed using alvimopan 12 mg PO the morning of surgery then BID until bowel movement, gabapentin 300 mg daily, and acetaminophen 1,000 mg q6H. The 2-drug group was managed with the above regimen excluding alvimopan. Controls were treated per our standard perioperative pathway. Primary outcomes were length of stay, IV narcotic consumption, bowel movement during hospitalization, and time to bowel movement and assessed in multivariate models controlling for operative time, concomitant surgery, chemotherapy receipt, and residual mass size. Results: One-hundred and fifty-two consecutive patients underwent RPLND (42 3-drug, 38 2-drug, and 72 controls). Multivariable models indicated that the 3-drug (IRR 0.89, P < 0.0001) and 2-drug group (IRR 0.87, P = 0.0209) had shorter hospital stays than controls. Men in the 3-drug group required less narcotic pain medication than the 2-drug (β −8.16, P = 0.0405) and the control (β −8.16, P = 0.0302) group. Men receiving alvimopan (3-drug) were almost 6 times more likely than the 2-drug group (odds ratio 5.94, P < 0.0001) and 4 times more likely than the control group (odds ratio 3.86, P = 0.0017) to have a bowel movement during hospitalization. Men in the 3-drug group had the quickest return of bowel movements. Conclusions: Multimodal pain management improves length of stay in men undergoing retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for testis cancer. The addition of alvimopan allows for quicker return of bowel movements and reduces overall narcotic requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-312
Number of pages8
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020



  • Alvimopan
  • Multimodal pain management
  • Outcomes
  • Quality improvement
  • Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
  • Testis cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology

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