BackTable / Urology / Podcast / Episode #40
Non-Opioid Approaches for Post-Operative Patients
with Dr. Benjamin Davies
Dr. Davies shares his valuable insights about post-operative opioid studies, disproves some myths about NSAIDs, and explains his pre-operative and post-operative pain management regimen.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, May 12). Ep. 40 – Non-Opioid Approaches for Post-Operative Patients [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Benjamin Davies
Dr. Benjamin Davies is the director of Urologic Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Aditya Bagrodia
Dr. Aditya Bagrodia is an associate professor of urology and genitourinary oncology team leader at UC San Diego Health in California and adjunct professor of urology at UT Southwestern.
In this episode of BackTable Urology, Dr. Aditya Bagrodia and Dr. Ben Davies, Director of Urologic Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, discuss non-opioid approaches for post-operative patients.
First, Dr. Davies discusses diversion as an indirect problem with prescribing too many opioids because many urologists forget that patients with opioid prescriptions can have family members and close contacts who have access to these pills as well. According to Dr. Davies, data shows that post-operative urologic surgery patients have a rate of addiction of 1-2% when prescribed opioids. In his opinion, most patients who undergo urologic procedures, such as cystectomies, TURPs, and partial nephrectomies, do not need narcotics for post-operative pain management. Prospective studies done in the general surgery and urological surgery field prove that there is no difference in satisfaction between patients who manage their pain via non-opioid and opioid approaches. Furthermore, opioids may cause idiosyncratic results in post-operative patients, such as anxiety and GI problems.
Next, Dr. Davies disproves some myths about NSAIDs. He does not agree with the practice of holding off NSAIDs for a week post-operatively, Also, he sees no problem with giving oral Tylenol to NPO patients. He strongly believes that bleeding risk and kidney damage as a result of toradol is minimal, and explains that creatinine levels always rise a bit post-operatively. He encourages urologists to walk their patients through the post-op pain regimen before surgery and to have pamphlets ready for distribution. Dr. Davies explains that for the most part, patients understand that opioid-related mortality deaths are rising and that 90% fentanyl and heroin users start with opioids. He also discourages doctors from prescribing extra opioid pills to patients.
Then, Dr. Davies explains his pre-operative and post-operative pain management regimen. Pre-operatively, he uses Tylenol, gabapentin, and celebrex. Intraoperatively, he uses IV ketamine, propofol, and precedex. As patients are waking up from surgery, he will give toradol. Post-operatively, he will prescribe Tylenol and Motrin. Finally, he emphasizes the need for buy-in from the hospital administration for a non-opioid approach. He discusses the importance of meeting with hospital administration and nurses to change the pain management culture of an institution. In his personal experience, he made a quality improvement project out of his non-opioid approach and figured out his personal strategy towards pain management before presenting it to his department.
Pekala KR, Jacobs BL, Davies BJ. The Shrinking Grey Zone of Postoperative Narcotics in the Midst of the Opioid Crisis: The No-opioid Urologist. Eur Urol Focus. 2020 Nov 15;6(6):1168-1169. doi: 10.1016/j.euf.2019.08.014. Epub 2019 Sep 26. PMID: 31563546.
Yu M, Davies BJ. Opium Wars to the Opioid Epidemic: The Same Narcotics Cause Addiction and Kill. Eur Urol. 2020 Jan;77(1):76-77. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2019.10.006. Epub 2019 Nov 8. PMID: 31711720.
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