The Importance of OpioidSparing Approaches
Patrick I. Borgen, MD, chairman of the Department of Surgery at Maimonides Hospital and director of the Brooklyn Breast Cancer Program, discussed the changing mindset on prescription choices in order to address the growing opioid epidemic. Of the more than 70 million patients who are prescribed opioids for postsurgical pain, 1 in 15 will become addicted. This rate is even higher for older patients, especially those undergoing low-risk surgery.
“Obviously, it’s time for a change,” said Borgen. “Patients don’t even like opioids,” he continued. “They would rather put up with the pain than get addicted.“
Advocating for multidiscipline practices that stress enhanced recovery after surgery and a preference for long-acting, micelle-based local anesthetics, Borgen presented data from trials showing opioid use decreased in patients after surgeons employed these practices. Utilizing these techniques can reduce the time that patients spends in the recovery room, the number of readmissions, and the need for emergency department visits. Concluding his talk, Dr. Borgen shared patient testimonials, showing the true impact these practices can have.