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Managing Pain with Otolaryngology Patients

Increasing incidence of opioid abuse, addiction, and overdose-related deaths in the United States are at the forefront of the public health agenda. The number of opioid prescriptions tripled over the past 20 years, and deaths from opioids have quadrupled over the same time period. Surgeons, who account for the second-highest rate of opioid prescribing among physicians, have an important role in helping to combat the epidemic. The topic will be covered during today’s Panel Presentation.

Vikas Mehta, MD

“The purpose of our session is to inform our audience about best practices for postoperative pain control in adults and children, to give them alternatives to opioids that they can consider, and to help identify and manage patients that are at high risk for opioid abuse,” said Vikas Mehta, MD, the session moderator. “Ten percent of opioid-naive patients who are prescribed opioids postoperatively will continue to take them one year after surgery. Limiting the use of opioids and the incorporation of best practices into postoperative pain management can help combat this national epidemic.”

During the session, Heather M. Weinreich, MD, will discuss best practices and alternative postoperative pain protocols for common otolaryngology procedures in adult patients, while Joshua R. Bedwell, MD, will cover the same topics in pediatrics. Clinical psychiatrist Justine Welsh, MD, will focus on how to identify high-risk patients for opioid abuse and how best to manage patients in the post-operative setting who already have an opioid addiction.

Demystifying Opioids in Otolaryngology: Facts, Gaps, Patterns, and Alternatives for Pain Control in Common Surgical Procedures

Today, 8:45 – 9:45 am

GWCC, Building A, Room 312

“The opioid epidemic facing the United States should be of no surprise to anyone,” Dr. Weinreich said. “What is challenging is the lack of recommendations or guidance for post-operative pain control. Are we, as otolaryngologists, contributing to this crisis?”

It is an important question to ponder, and attendees of the session should leave with a clearer answer.