- Patients who received nonopioid medication for pain after thyroidectomy had pain scores similar to those who received an opioid at times ranging from 1 hour after surgery to the first follow-up office visit.
Why this matters
- Postoperative pain management following thyroidectomy often includes prescription opioids, even though research suggests post-thyroidectomy may not require opioids to control pain.
- A 2-arm, nonblinded randomized study of 95 patients (age ≥18 years) who underwent thyroidectomy during 2018-2019.
- Outcomes: pain scores based on the visual analog scale and opioid use during the postoperative care period.
- Funding: None.
- Patients who received nonopioid medication vs those who received opioids showed no significant difference for pain scores:
- 1 hour after the operation (3.3±2.8 vs 3.9±2.8; P=.35).
- 6 hours after the operation (2.8±2.1 vs 3.0±3.0; P=.08).
- On postoperative day 1 (1.6±2.2 vs 2.4±2.5; P=.08).
- On first office visit (0.2±0.8 vs 0.1±0.6; P=.82).
- Morphine-equivalent opioid requirement for pain control in the postoperative period was significantly lower (0.8 vs 6.9 mg; P<.01>
- Comparison of only 2 specific methods.
- Nonopioid pain control is not feasible for every patient.
- Single-center study.
Coauthored by Vijay Rathod, PhD.