Surgeons Likely Overprescribing Opioids After Rhinoplasty

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David A. Shaye, M.D., FACS Instructor in Otolaryngology Harvard Medical School 

Dr. Shaye

David A. Shaye, M.D., FACS
Instructor in Otolaryngology
Harvard Medical School 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty (nasal surgery) is the most common procedure we perform and traditionally post operative pain medication includes opioids.

In light of the recent opioid epidemic, we wished to investigate if patients pain was being treated over-treated by surgeons.

Of 173 Rhinoplasties that we performed, the majority of patients received post operative opioid tablets (an average of 28 tablets).  However 11% of patients did not fill these prescriptions at all, and only 2 of the 178 patients required refills.

We believe patients experienced less pain than surgeons anticipated.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Post rhinoplasty pain is not in sync with surgeon prescribing habits.  Surgeons are likely overprescribing pain medications

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: Moving forward, we wish to investigate the role of local anesthesia during rhinoplasty to see if it decreases the need for post operative pain medication.  

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? 

Response: As facial plastic surgeons, it’s our duty to monitor prescribing habits and balance appropriate treatment of post-operative pain with minimal use of opioids.  This study shows that exceedingly few patients required refills of their pain medications, in fact many did not fill their pain prescriptions at all.

Citation: 

Sethi RKV, Lee LN, Quatela OE, Richburg KG, Shaye DA. Opioid Prescription Patterns After Rhinoplasty. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. Published online September 06, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2018.0999

 

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