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Health Psychol Res



Opioids in Urology: How Well Are We Preventing Opioid Dependence and How Can We Do Better?


Anderson DJ, Cao DY, Zhou J, McDonald M, Razzak AN, Hasoon J, Viswanath O, Kaye AD, Urits I
Health Psychol Res. 2022; 10(3):38243.
PMID: 36118983.


Urologic procedures (both open and minimally invasive) can cause pain due to the surgery itself, devices placed, and post-operative issues. Thus, pain management is important for every post-procedure recovery period. Opioid use post-surgery is common and often over-prescribed contributing to persistent use by patients. In this article, we review the extent of opioid use in pediatric urologic procedures, vasectomy, endourologic procedures, penile implantation, urogynecologic procedures, prostatectomy, nephrectomy, cystectomy, and scrotal/testicular cancer surgery. Generally, we have found that institutions do not have a standardized protocol with a set regimen to prescribe opioids, resulting in more opioids being prescribed than needed and patients not properly disposing of their unused prescriptions. However, many institutions recognize their opioid overuse and are implementing new multimodal opioid-sparing analgesics methods such as non-opioid peri-operative medications, minimally invasive robotic surgery, and nerve blocks or local anesthetics with varying degrees of success. By shedding light on these opioid-free methods and prescription protocols, along with improved patient education and counselling, we hope to bring awareness to institutions and decrease unnecessary opioid use.