Sumary of Enhanced recovery after surgery program helps reduce opioid prescriptions after lung surgery:
- The main role of research like ours is to increase the awareness among health care providers about the important role of ERAS in reducing patient exposure to opioids both during and after hospital discharge.
- Reducing opioid exposure during hospitalization and practicing rational discharge prescribing should reduce the risk of long-term opioid dependence, as well as mitigate against opioid overprescribing that leads to diversion and abuse.
- ” Andres Zorrilla Vaca, MD, Resident Physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts Dr. Zorrilla Vaca and colleagues collected opioid prescribing information for 2,081 patients who received lung resections at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, between March 2016 and April 2020, and were enrolled in the ERAS program.
- The ERAS protocol included a standardized pain medication regimen and other interventions such as patient education and counseling, carbohydrate drink before surgery, fluid management, no prolonged fasting, and early mobilization following the operation.
- Researchers found that from 2016-;when the ERAS program was implemented-;to 2020, the rate of opioid prescriptions at discharge was reduced from 35% to 25%.
- “We have shown that patients who undergo lung surgery on an ERAS pathway have better pain control, require fewer opioid medications in hospital as well as at discharge, have fewer postoperative complications, and also have quicker recovery,” said Dr. Zorrilla Vaca.
- In addition, the study showed that there was a gradual and sustained downward trend in opioid prescriptions over the 4-year study period, with the total amount of opioids prescribed declining by 51%.
- “The ERAS program has provided significant benefits in the reduction of opioid prescriptions at hospital discharge, which seems to be correlated with the duration of the program, the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques, and lower administration of opioids during surgery,” said Dr. Zorrilla Vaca.