Background: The Sufentanil Sublingual Tablet System (SSTS) is a new, pre-programmed, noninvasive, handheld system for patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) which may allow a faster postoperative recovery compared with standard PCA. The efficacy of SSTS in controlling pain after open abdominal surgery has already been documented. However, to our knowledge SSTS has never been investigated in patients undergoing major surgery within an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol. Methods: This observational, retrospective analysis included consecutive patients undergoing elective major abdominal and gynecological surgery. All patients received the SSTS device once they were fully awake and had a good control of pain at the end of the surgery. We analyzed changes in pain intensity according to the numerical rating scale (NRS) throughout the treatment as well as its duration, the number of administrations, and possible related adverse events. Patients were also interviewed to assess their quality of sleep and overall satisfaction with the SSTS device. Results: The study included 308 patients. Compared to the first SSTS administration, pain intensity decreased from a median NRS of 6 to 0 at day 3, for an overall reduction of 79%. Results were already statistically significant at postoperative day 1 (p<0.01). Adverse reactions were observed in 62 patients, with nausea being the most frequent (12%), and in 93% of patients SSTS was discontinued because it was considered no longer necessary. Patient satisfaction was high, with 89% of them judging the device as “easy” or “very easy” to use. Conclusions: Although the retrospective and observational nature of the study as well as the absence of a comparative group limits the strength of evidence, our results consider SSTS an effective and safe tool for the management of postoperative pain after major abdominal and gynecological surgery within an ERAS protocol.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine