[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Research Letter
November 2018

Opioid Use After Open Resection or Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery for Early-Stage Lung Cancer

Author Affiliations
  • 1Institute for Translational Epidemiology and Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
  • 2Department of Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, New York
  • 3Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
  • 4Department of Medicine, General Internal Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
  • 5Department of Thoracic Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
JAMA Oncol. 2018;4(11):1611-1613. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.4387

Patients undergoing surgery for early-stage lung cancer often experience persistent postoperative pain; it has been estimated that in 10% of patients the pain can be so intense as to be debilitating.1 While the current standard of care is to prescribe opioids at discharge, this treatment is intended as short-term pain control, not to exceed a few weeks after surgery.2 Medical prescriptions of opioids increase the risk of opioid abuse and overdose.3 Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive surgical technique used in early-stage lung cancer that might reduce the need for opioids compared with traditional open surgery,4 but this has yet to be established.

×