A standardized minimal Opioid prescription post-thoracic sur
This study shows that a standardized limited opioid prescription is safe, adequate, and can easily be implemented for the majority of thoracic surgery patients.

This study by The Annals of Thoracic Surgery assesses the adequacy of pain control with standardized and limited opioids after thoracic procedures.

A standardized prescription comprised of 15 Hydromorphone tabs, 7 days of Acetaminophen, and 3 days of Ibuprofen was provided on discharge to elective thoracic surgery patients. On the first post-operative visit, patients completed a questionnaire regarding the number of Hydromorphones used, use of additional opioids, pain-related limitation to function, and adequacy of pain control.

104 patients were included in the study. The median age was 66 yrs, the median length of stay was 2 days.

Seventeen used all prescribed Hydromorphone and 56 used none, 18 asked for additional/other opioids, and 14 felt that their pain significantly limited their function. Nine felt that their pain was inadequately controlled.

In particular, pain after thoracic procedures, especially VATS, is adequately controlled with minimal opioid doses (combined with adjuncts) with less than 1 in 5 patients requiring additional prescriptions and very few patients complaining of pain that “significantly limited their function”.

Source: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2021.05.075