As the postoperative patient’s local anesthetic wears off, the surgeon’s choice of analgesia can be as difficult as it is important. Opioids are readily available, but they’re also associated with adverse events.
Kessler et al. analyzed 37,031 patients who underwent common surgical procedures over a 2-year period (2009 to 2010) to assess the impact of opioid-related adverse events on both the patients and the health care system. While opioid-related adverse events usually have a more emergent, transient quality than issues related to the opioid crisis, they deserve a place in the broader context of opioid epidemic statistics.