How common is persistent opioid use after plastic, reconstructive surgery?

March 07, 2019

Bottom Line: This study examined how common persistent opioid use was after plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures of the nose, eye, breast, abdomen and soft tissue. The study included about 467,000 patients, of whom about half filled prescriptions for postoperative pain relievers and nearly all those prescriptions filled were for opioids. Persistent opioid use (prescription filled 90 to 180 days after surgery) occurred in 30,865 (6.6 percent) patients and prolonged opioid use (opioid prescription filled 90-180 days after surgery and then again 181 to 365 days after surgery) occurred in 10,487 (2.3 percent) patients. Patients who filled prescriptions for opioids shortly before or after surgery were more likely to have persistent and prolonged use. A limitation of the study is that opioid prescription fills were used as a proxy for opioid consumption, which doesn't account for patients who may fill but not use a postoperative opioid prescription or patients who may have obtained opioids by other means such as from friends, family or other nonmedical sources.

Author: Sam P. Most, M.D., Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford, California, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2018.2035)

Editor's Note: The article includes funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Sam P. Most, M.D., email Mandy Erickson at merickso@stanford.edu">merickso@stanford.edu. The full study and podcast are linked to this news release.

Want to embed a link to this study in your story? This full-text link will be live at the embargo time https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamafacialplasticsurgery/fullarticle/2727142?guestAccessKey=516f577c-e682-4aee-b2d4-060fc38a5681&utm_source=JAMA Network&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_content=tfl&utm_term=030719
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JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery

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