Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Anesthesia - Supplement to Outpatient Surgery Magazine - July 2016

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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5 2 S U P P L E M E N T T O O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E J U LY 2 0 1 6 How widespread is the misuse of opioids? Studies have suggested that the problem may be plateau- ing or potentially improving in the United States, but other data suggest that it may actually be getting worse. It depends on where you live. I believe that anesthesiologists have only recently become aware of the problem and are now helping to solve issues that may arise from inappropriate opioid prescrib- ing. What factors have upped opioid use among surgical patients? There is an increased long-term use in patients who ini- tiate opioid therapy shortly after undergoing low-risk surgery. Whether this use is problematic or associated with long-term consequences is debatable. The associa- tion does show that the perioperative period has the potential to contribute to the ongoing epidemic. We should be aware of this phenomenon. How prevalent is the use of opioids following surgery? In one study, opioid-naïve patients who received an opioid within a week of surgery were 44% more likely to use opioids over the long term than those who did not receive prescriptions. nesthesia's Role in Curbing the Opioid Epidemic A Asim Alam, MD, FRCPC, DRCPC Anesthesiologist and opioid-use researcher

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