More opioids do not yield higher postoperative satisfaction

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Authors: Shruti Zaveri, Tamar Nobel, Prerna Khetan, Maya Srinivasan, and Celia M Divino
Page Range: 213-220
Published in: Journal of Pain Management, volume 14 issue 3 (2021)
ISSN: 1939-5914

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Table of Contents

Recent studies have demonstrated excessive prescribing of postoperative opioids. The purpose of this study was to characterize the relationship between opioid prescribing, consumption, pain control, and pain-related satisfaction. Methods: Ambulatory general surgery patients between September 2018 and May 2019 were surveyed regarding opioid consumption, pain scores, and overall satisfaction with postoperative pain control. Results: Of the 148 patients surveyed, over 70% of patients who were prescribed >20 5 mg oxycodone pills only consumed <10 pills. Over one-third of patients had >15 pills left over at two weeks postoperatively. Increase in the amount of opioid prescribed was associated with an increase in opioids consumed (p = 0.0335); however, there was no relationship with pain control immediately post-op (p = 0.1716) or at two-weeks following the surgery (p = 0.2829). Most importantly, there was no significant association between the amount of opioids prescribed or consumed and pain-related satisfaction. Conclusion: In the era of increased institutionalized emphasis on patient satisfaction, an opioid epidemic fueled by prescription medications and the intrinsic relationship between pain and surgery, the perioperative period provides an important opportunity to prevent opioid mismanagement.

Keywords: Pain, opioid, narcotics, ambulatory surgery, satisfaction