Are Opioids Necessary in Middle Ear Surgery? Comparing the Transcanal and Postauricular Approach.

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Understand opioid-prescribing patterns in otologic surgery and the difference in opioid use between transcanal and postauricular surgery.Prospective survey.Multihospital network.All patients undergoing otologic surgery from March 2017 to January 2019.Patients undergoing otologic surgery were surveyed regarding postoperative opioid use and their level of pain control. Patients were divided by surgical approach (transcanal vs. postauricular). Those who underwent mastoid drilling were excluded. Narcotic amounts were converted to milligram morphine equivalents (MME) for analysis.Amount of opioid was calculated and compared between the two groups. Mann-Whitney U test and Chi-square testing were used for analysis.Fifty-five patients were included in the analysis; of these 18 (33%) had a postauricular incision. There was no difference in age (p = 0.85) or gender (p = 0.5) between the two groups. The mean amount of opioid prescribed (MME) in the postauricular and transcanal groups was 206.4 and 143 (p = 0.038) while the mean amount used was 37.7 and 37.5 (p = 0.29) respectively. There was no difference in percentage of opioid used (p = 0.44) or in patient-reported level of pain control (p = 0.49) between the two groups.Patients in both the transcanal and postauricular groups used only a small portion of their prescribed opioid. There was no difference in the amount of opioid used or the patient’s reported level of pain control based on the approach. Otologic surgeons should be aware of these factors to reduce narcotic diversion after ear surgery.

View the full article @ Otology & neurotology : official publication of the American Otological Society, American Neurotology Society [and] European Academy of Otology and Neurotology
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Authors: Geoffrey C Casazza, Richard K Gurgel, Hilary C McCrary, Alexander S Ramirez, Paul R Krakovitz, Clough Shelton, Jeremy D Meier