Safe transition to opioid-free pathway after robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy

Laura Horodyski, Brittany Ball, Clarence Emile, Adriana Rhodes, Feng Miao, Isildinha M. Reis, Mara Z. Carrasquillo, Joshua Livingstone, Christina Matadial, Chad R. Ritch, Leslie A. Deane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To determine whether local anesthetic infiltration and non-narcotic pain medications can safely reduce or eliminate opioid use following robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy while maintaining adequate pain control. After initiation of this quality-improvement project, patients undergoing robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy had surgeon-administered local anesthesia around all incisions into each successive layer from peritoneum to skin, with the majority infiltrated into the transversus abdominis muscle plane and posterior rectus sheath of the midline extraction incision. Post-operatively patients received scheduled acetaminophen plus ketorolac, renal function permitting. A retrospective review was performed for all cases over 19 months, spanning project implementation. 157 cases (76 in opioid-free pathway, 81 in standard pathway) were included. Five patients (6.6%) in the opioid-free pathway required post-operative opioids while inpatient, versus 61 (75.3%) in the standard pathway, p <.001. Mean patient-reported pain score on each post-operative day was lower in the opioid-free pathway compared to the standard pathway [day 0: 2.4 (SD 2.6) vs. 3.9 (SD 2.7), p <.001; day 1: 1.4 [SD 1.6] vs. 3.3 (SD 2.2), p <.001; day 2 0.9 (SD 1.5) vs. 2.6 (SD 1.9), p <.001]. Fewer post-operative complications were seen in the opioid-free pathway versus standard [0 vs. 5 (6.2%), p = 0.028], and there was no statistically significant difference in number of emergency room visits or readmissions within 3 weeks of surgery. The use of surgeon-administered local anesthetic plus scheduled non-narcotic analgesics can safely and significantly reduce opioid use after robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy while improving pain control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Analgesia
  • Minimally invasive surgical procedures
  • Prostatectomy
  • Robotic surgical procedures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Health Informatics


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