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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Time course of subacute pain after transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma versus traditional bilateral tonsillectomy in adults - a case-control study

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OBJECTIVE: To examine pain after Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) versus traditional bilateral tonsillectomy in adults.

METHODS: Pain evolvement was assessed in a prospective case-control design of 16 consecutive patients treated with TORS for early stage OPSCC versus 12 patients, who underwent bilateral tonsillectomy on suspicion of malignant disease. The TORS group received an optimized analgesia regime of preoperative oral celecoxib and gabapentin, intra- and postoperative high-dose intravenous dexamethasone, and regular postoperative oral contalgin, gabapentin, celecoxib, paracetamol and rescue morphine. The tonsillectomy group received the departmental standard analgesia regime with low-dose preoperative oral dexamethasone, celecoxib and paracetamol. Postoperative regular analgesia consisted of oral NSAID and paracetamol with weak opioids prescribed as required. Pain intensity was recorded at rest and during swallowing twice a day.

RESULTS: The median pain intensity on postoperative day (POD) 1-4 was 2 in the TORS group versus 4.5 in the tonsillectomy group. From POD 5-10 median pain intensity was 3.5 and 4, respectively. The median length of stay was 5 days in the TORS group and less than 24 hours in the tonsillectomy group.

CONCLUSION: With an optimized analgesia regime TORS for OPSCC can be performed with postoperative pain levels comparable to bilateral tonsillectomy in adults.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
Volume138
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)837-842
Number of pages6
ISSN0001-6489
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 53743132