To prospectively evaluate opioid consumption following adult outpatient otologic surgery.
Single-tertiary referral center.
Patients scheduled for otologic surgery who did not have a history of chronic opioid use were recruited between February 2018 and February 2019.
Interventions and Main Outcome Measures:
Opioid consumption was queried using telephone or in-person surveys administered between postoperative days 5 and 15. Patient demographics, surgical details, and opioid prescription patterns were abstracted from medical records. Opioid distribution was determined by querying records maintained by the California Department of Justice through a state-wide prescription drug monitoring program mandated since 2016.
Seventy patients were prescribed an average of 68.9 ± 31.8 mg of morphine equivalents (MME) and consumed 47.3 ± 42.9 MME over 2.4 ± 2.3 days postoperatively. Patients who received a postauricular incision were prescribed significantly more than those who underwent transcanal procedures (86.2 vs 55.9 MME; t test, p < 0.001), consumed significantly more (72.2 vs 28.6 MME; t test, p < 0.001), and for a significantly longer duration (3.4 vs 1.6 days; t test, p = 0.001). In the postauricular group, there was no significant difference in consumption between mastoidectomy and nonmastoidectomy subgroups (64.9 vs 89.2 MME; t test, p = 0.151). Eighty percent of transcanal patients consumed 50 MME (10 pills) or less, while 80% of postauricular patients consumed 80 MME (16 pills) or less.
Patients in our cohort consumed approximately 3/4 of the prescribed opioids. Those with postauricular incisions used significantly more than those with transcanal incisions. Postoperative opioid prescription recommendations should be tailored according to the extent of surgery.