A prospective study of opioid use for postoperative pain management after breast operation

Kristen E. Limbach, Su Ellen J. Pommier, Kristen Massimino, Rodney F. Pommier, Arpana M. Naik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The opioid epidemic has necessitated increased attention to prescribing practices. This study seeks to prospectively quantify postoperative opioid use after breast operation. Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing breast operation at a single institution in 2018 prospectively tracked each dose of medication and completed a survey of perceptions regarding their opioid prescription. Results: Of 100 patients, 88 completed log, survey, or both. The tab quantity required to fulfill the needs of 80% of patients was: Partial mastectomy (PM) 3, PM with sentinel lymph node biopsy 6, PM with bilateral reduction 8, total mastectomy 34, and bilateral mastectomy 47. Of survey respondents, 51.2% felt they had been prescribed too much pain medication. Most (83.0%) had leftover tabs, and 67.9% indicated they kept them in their home. Conclusions: The majority of patients were overprescribed opioids after breast operation. A reduction could be achieved by targeting the needs of 80% of the population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Breast
  • Lumpectomy
  • Mastectomy
  • Opioid
  • Postoperative analgesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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