April 13, 2020

Problems with Opiates in the Post-breast Surgery Population

In 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency due to opioid misuse and abuse. Patients undergoing surgery for cancer are also at risk for developing use or an addiction. Up to 10% undergoing cancer operations developed opiate addiction.


It appears that smoking, preoperative opioid use, bilateral oncoplastic surgery, axillary lymph node dissection, use of surgical drains, high reported postoperative pain score, and receiving a higher opiate discharge prescription are associated with higher postoperative opioid use. Noting that every patient has her own pain threshold and also considering the complexity of the case, judicious use of opioid medication should be used and individualized.


Want to learn more? Visit Ko Un Park1, Kristin Kyrish2, Min Yi3, et. al.