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Eliminating Unnecessary Opioid Exposure After Common Children’s Surgeries

  • A discharge opioid was prescribed to 22% of 675 children younger than 18 years with median 10 doses (25th to 75th percentile, 6-15) undergoing umbilical or epigastric herniorrhaphy; laparoscopic appendectomy; inguinal herniorrhaphy and/or hydrocelectomy; adenoidectomy; circumcision; percutaneous pinning for elbow fracture; or scrotal-incision orchiopexy at a tertiary care facility.
  • Circumcision, elbow fracture, and orchiopexy had the highest opioid use; yet only 1 in 3 patients used an opioid, typically for 3 days or less.
  • Overall, pain control was reported as good among 82% of children with or without a discharge opioid prescription.

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Harbaugh CM, Vargas G, Streur CS, et al. Eliminating Unnecessary Opioid Exposure After Common Children's Surgeries. JAMA Surg. 2019;154(12):1154-1155. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.2529