Objective: This pilot study prospectively studied daily pain levels and medication requirements post-operatively in patients undergoing elective Otolaryngology procedures.
Methods: Patients were asked to prospectively document their pain level and medication use daily for 7 days post-operatively. A final survey was used to quantify unused medication left at home and clarify each patient’s disposal plan. We included patients undergoing elective outpatient or short stay surgeries.
Results: A final cohort of 56 eligible adult patients were included in the study. The most common procedures were thyroidectomy (n=19), endoscopic sinus surgery (n=10), tympanoplasty/ossiculoplasty (n=7), and cochlear implant (n=5). Most patients used on average 29% of their initial prescription. Patients most commonly opted to keep their unused narcotics at home (n=23; 41%).
Conclusion: There is a clear tendency to overestimate post-operative pain resulting in significant over-prescription of opioids. Larger studies are required to develop procedure-specific prescription guidelines in Otolaryngology.
- Describe the role of surgeons in the Opioid Epidemic
- Describe safe Opioid prescribing practices for management of post-operative pain
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Authors' Contact Details
Corresponding Author: Dr. Frederick Laliberte
Senior Author: Dr. Eric Monteiro
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