Article Abstract

Opioid use and abuse following video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) or thoracotomy lung cancer surgery

Authors: Tamar B. Nobel, Prasad S. Adusumilli, Daniela Molena


Although opioids are frequently prescribed in the postoperative setting, the call for increased opioid stewardship among surgeons has only recently become more urgent. Recent studies have shown that opioids are overprescribed postoperatively (1,2). Given that the risk of chronic opioid use and consequently, misuse and abuse, has been demonstrated to increase with longer duration and higher dosage prescriptions, it is time for surgeons to have a proactive role in mitigating the opioid crisis (3,4). Most of the current literature to date on postoperative opioid prescribing has focused on general, gynecologic, and orthopedic surgery (1-3,5,6). Opioid prescribing patterns and implications for thoracic surgery remain mostly undefined.

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