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OR in the News (selected articles)

Henshaw DS, Turner JD, Khanna AK: Opioid abuse and perioperative care: a new medical disease. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol 2022; 35: 401-408

November 20, 2022

Purpose of review
This review article aims to describe the perioperative clinical implications of opioid use or opioid use disorder (OUD) and to provide recommendations related to analgesia, anesthesia, and postoperative care for patients with this ’new medical disease’.
Recent findings
Evidence suggest that 1 in 4 surgical patients will be using opioids preoperatively. Management of these patients, or those with OUD, can be challenging given their opioid tolerance, hyperalgesia, decreased pain tolerance, and increased pain sensitivity. Therefore, an individualized plan that considers how to manage OUD treatment medications, the risk of relapse, multimodal analgesia, and postoperative monitoring requirements is highly important. Fortunately, recent publications provide both insight and guidance on these topics. Postoperatively, persistent opioid utilization appears higher in patients currently using opioids and even for those with a prior history. Although numerous other adverse outcomes are also associated with opioid use or abuse, some may be modifiable with cessation.
A coordinated, evidence-based, multidisciplinary team approach is critical when caring for patients with OUD to ensure safety, provide adequate analgesia, and reduce the risk of relapse. Enhanced postoperative monitoring, multimodal analgesia, and a plan for preoperative opioid management may help to modify the risks of adverse postoperative outcomes.
multimodal analgesia, opioid abuse disorder, perioperative care, postoperative monitoring and outcomes.