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Am Surg. 2011 Nov;77(11):1460-2.

Does alvimopan enhance return of bowel function in laparoscopic right colectomy?

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Rhode Island Colorectal Clinic, LLC, Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02893, USA.


Alvimopan, a peripherally acting Mu-opioid receptor antagonist, has been shown to enhance recovery of gastrointestinal (GI) function in open bowel resection. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of Alvimopan on patients undergoing laparoscopic right colectomies in preventing postoperative ileus (POI). A prospective, nonrandomized trial of laparoscopic right colectomies was carried out with and without perioperative Alvimopan. The length of stay (LOS), time to first flatus, bowel movement, and tolerance of solid foods were recorded. Additionally, any occurrences of POI defined as the need for insertion of a nasogastric tube (NGT) were also noted. Student t tests were used for statistical analysis. A total of 33 patients underwent laparoscopic right colectomies for both benign and malignant diseases from October 2008, to December 2009. Sixteen patients received Alvimopan, whereas 17 patients did not. The demographics of both patient groups were similar. Patients receiving Alvimopan had an accelerated return of bowel function in terms of first flatus (2.37 vs 3.34; P = 0.03), tolerance of solid food (2.75 vs 3.94; P = 0.03), and first stool (2.53 vs 3.80; P = 0.04). There was a trend toward shorter LOS in patients receiving Alvimopan (P = 0.07). Two patients with POI requiring NGT did not receive Alvimopan. Alvimopan was successful in enhancing return of GI function in laparoscopic right colectomies and avoiding POI. The decreased LOS trended but did not approach statistical significance. A large randomized prospective trial will be needed to determine the validity of this study.

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