Implementation of Opioid-Free Thyroid and Parathyroid Procedures: A Single Center Experience.J Surg Res. 2020 08; 252:169-173.JS
Initial opioid exposure for most individuals with substance use disorder comes from the healthcare system, and overprescription of opioids in ambulatory operations is common. This report describes an academic medical center's experience implementing opioid-free thyroid and parathyroid operations.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This is a retrospective chart review of patients undergoing a thyroid or parathyroid operation before and after implementation of an opioid-free analgesia protocol. The primary endpoint was new postoperative opioid prescription. Secondary endpoints included prescription characteristics and predictors of new opioid prescription.
A total of 515 patients were enrolled in the study: 240 in the control or "pre-intervention" cohort (May through October 2017) and 275 in the intervention or "post" cohort (May through October 2018). Patients in the intervention cohort were significantly less likely to receive an opioid prescription (12.0% versus 59.6%, P < 0.001). When opioids were prescribed, they were used for shorter durations and at lower doses in the intervention cohort. Among the patients prescribed opioids in the intervention cohort (N = 33), the only significant predictor of postoperative opioid use was preoperative opioid use (P = 0.001).
Opioids may not be required after thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy, especially for opioid-naïve patients. Future research should examine patient satisfaction with opioid-sparing analgesia.