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JAMA Dermatol. 2013 Mar;149(3):317-21.

Opioid pain medication use after dermatologic surgery: a prospective observational study of 212 dermatologic surgery patients.

Author information

1
Saltzer Medical Group, Nampa, Idaho 83687, USA. kalynne.harris@yahoo.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To better understand postoperative opioid use after dermatologic surgery.

DESIGN:

Prospective observational study.

SETTING:

Academic dermatology department.

PATIENTS:

The study included 212 adults (1) who were undergoing a single skin excision (including Mohs micrographic surgery), (2) who consented to participate,and (3) who were able to be reached by telephone on postoperative day 3 or 4. Patients who did not meet these criteria and those referred to another physician for further surgical treatment or repair were excluded.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The study examined(1) the incidence of opioid prescription after dermatologic surgery, (2) the percentage of prescribed opioid pain medications used in the postoperative period, and (3) patient and surgical characteristics associated with opioid pain medication prescription and use.

RESULTS:

Opioids were prescribed to 72 of the 212 patients(34%). Twenty-five of the 72 patients (35%) who were prescribed opioids did not use them. Forty-nine of 57 patients (86%) who filled an opioid prescription had leftover pills, and 26 of the 49 patients (53%) planned to keep them. Only maximum pain score was significantly associated with opioid use.

CONCLUSIONS:

Opioids were over prescribed after dermatologic surgery. Patients who had left over opioids did not dispose of them properly, which could lead to potential misuse and abuse.

PMID:
23682368
DOI:
10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.1871
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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