Reducing Opioid Use After Endourologic Procedures

Abstract [from journal]

Purpose of Review: Surgeons have played a significant role in the current opioid epidemic through overprescribing practices in the postoperative setting. However, contemporary efforts have helped to decrease opioid excess, particularly in the field of urology. Minimally invasive surgery offers a unique avenue to address overuse of narcotics in the postoperative period given its emphasis on enhanced recovery.

Recent Findings: Historically, the majority of the literature characterizing postoperative opioid use and its reduction has focused on non-urological surgery. However, recent studies have shown that patients undergoing urologic procedures are prescribed opioids in a similar manner as patients in other surgical specialties. Reduction strategies have been implemented through the use of regional anesthesia, enhanced recovery after surgery pathways, and the development of procedure-specific opioid prescription recommendations. Patients undergoing urologic surgery experience the same risk of opioid misuse and abuse as patients undergoing other types of surgery. However, the wide use of minimally invasive urological surgeries including robotic surgery offers a unique opportunity to reduce postoperative opioid use through multimodal and interdisciplinary protocols and standardizing guidelines.