14:07 PM

Length of Use of Post-op Opioids Should Vary by Procedure

Anesthesiology News reports on study findings which demonstrated the median time to discontinuation of postoperative opioids varied widely by surgical subtype, leading to the recommendation that prescribing opioids should be specific for the procedure.

HSS anesthesiologist Christopher L. Wu, MD, who was not involved in the research commented on the findings, saying, “This is very important work, in part because of the contribution of postsurgical opioids to the opioid crisis.” Dr. Wu continued, “There is some thought that surgery is a potential gateway to long-term opioid use, so any way that providers, institutions and health care systems can safely limit prescribing will be of benefit.”

Dr. Wu added that he would like to see future research in the field include a broader range of patients. “The current patient population was largely [white] and male. So certainly, as we go forward, we’ll need to include data to show what opioid consumption averages may be for females, other ethnicities and other procedures.”

This article appeared in the July 2020 print edition.