Review and update on postoperative opioid use after nasal and sinus surgery

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Purpose of review

We examine the current literature on pain management after sinus and nasal surgery. The goal after surgery is to provide effective pain management without having too many ‘leftovers’, as leftover medications are an important source of opioids that are fueling the current prescription narcotic epidemic in the United States. There are more than 250 000 sinus operations and 260 000 septoplasties performed annually, and surgeons commonly prescribe a narcotic pain medication for postoperative pain management.

Recent findings

The literature suggests that an evidence-based approach may lead surgeons to prescribe significantly less narcotic pain medication for these procedures without affecting pain management.


An evidence-based approach to pain management can result in unchanged pain control and a significant positive impact on the narcotic abuse epidemic.

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