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Comment & Response
August 22, 2019

Confounding Factors on Postoperative Opioid Use Following Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Rhode Island Hospital, The Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2019;21(5):465. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2019.0757

To the Editor I read with great interest the article by Olds et al1 in the July issue of JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery. The authors performed a retrospective study on patients who underwent 5 classes of plastic and reconstructive procedures (nasal, eye, breast, abdomen, and soft tissue reconstruction) between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2015, using IBM MarketScan Commercial and Medicare Supplemental research databases and concluded that, given the substantial risk of persistent opioid use after plastic and reconstructive procedures, it is imperative to develop best practices guidelines for postoperative opioid prescription practices in this population. The authors should be commended for performing a well-designed study in important topics (eg, acute pain and opioid use) in patients undergoing surgery.2,3 The need to tailor specific analgesic interventions to patients who will benefit the most is a very relevant topic in perioperative medicine.4

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