Background: The prevalence of opioid abuse has become epidemic in the United States. Microdirect laryngoscopy (MDL) is a common otolaryngological procedure, yet prescribing practices for opioids following this operation are not well characterized. Objective: To characterize current opioid-prescribing patterns among otolaryngologists performing MDL. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of otolaryngologists at a national laryngology meeting. Results: Fifty-eight of 205 physician registrants (response rate 28%) completed the survey. Fifty-nine percent of respondents were fellowship-trained in laryngology. Respondents performed an average of 13.3 MDLs per month. Thirty-four percent of surgeons prescribe opioids for over two-thirds of their MDLs, while only 7% of surgeons never prescribe opioids. Eighty-eight percent of surgeons prescribed a combination opioid and acetaminophen compound, hydrocodone being the most common opioid component. Many surgeons prescribe non-opioid analgesics as well, with 70% and 84% of surgeons recommending acetaminophen and ibuprofen after MDL respectively. When opioids were prescribed, patient preference, difficult exposure and history of opioid use were the most influential patient factors. Concerns of opioid abuse, the physician role in the opioid crisis, and literature about postoperative non-opioid analgesia were also underlying themes in influencing opioid prescription patterns after MDL. Conclusions: In this study, over 90% of practicing physicians surveyed are prescribing opioids after MDL, though many are also prescribing non-opioid analgesia as well. Further studies should be completed to investigate the needs of patients following MDL in order to allow physicians to selectively and appropriately prescribe opioid analgesia postoperatively.
- pain management