Ketorolac tromethamine (Toradol), a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug, is used with increased frequency given its success in postoperative pain control and the subsequent decreased need for narcotics. Its use has been limited in plastic surgery for fear of postoperative bleeding and hematoma formation. In this study of breast surgery patients, the authors investigated whether ketorolac increased the risk of postoperative hematoma formation.
After obtaining institutional review board approval, the authors retrospectively reviewed the records of patients undergoing breast surgery from January of 2012 through December of 2014. The authors compared the incidence of postoperative hematomas in patients who did, versus those who did not, receive ketorolac postoperatively.
For the entire cohort, the overall hematoma rate was 2.8 percent. Of the patients who received ketorolac, the rate was 3.5 percent; of those who did not, the rate was 2.5 percent. Of the breast reduction patients, the rate was 4 percent in those who received ketorolac versus 3.2 percent in those who did not. Of the breast reconstruction patients, the rate was 4 percent in those who received ketorolac versus 3.2 percent in those who did not.
Recently, the high rates of prescribing postoperative narcotics have received increased attention. Aside from the risk of increased availability of narcotics in the community, the side effects can delay patient recovery. Ketorolac is controversial for postoperative pain control because of the potential risk of bleeding, but in the authors’ 3-year retrospective study, it was not associated with an increased risk of hematoma formation.
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