Enhanced Recovery after Surgery Protocol with Ultrasound-Guided Regional Blocks in Outpatient Plastic Surgery Patients Leads to Decreased Opioid Prescriptions and Consumption

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Conference Proceeding

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Aesthetic Surgery Journal


Background: Opioids are a mainstay of pain management. To limit the use of opioids, enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols implement multimodal approaches to treat postoperative pain. Objectives: The aim of this paper was to be the first to assess the efficacy of an ERAS protocol for plastic surgery outpatients that includes ultrasound-guided, surgeon-led regional blocks. Methods: A retrospective review of patients undergoing outpatient plastic surgery on an ERAS protocol was performed. These patients were compared to a well-matched group not on an ERAS protocol (pre-ERAS). Endpoints included the amounts of opioid, antinausea, and antispasmodic medication prescribed. ERAS patients were given a postoperative questionnaire to assess both pain levels (0-10) and opioid consumption. ERAS patients anticipated to have higher levels of pain received ultrasound-guided anesthetic blocks. Results: There were 157 patients in the pre-ERAS group and 202 patients in the ERAS group. Patients in the pre-ERAS group were prescribed more opioid (332.3 vs 100.3 morphine milligram equivalents (MME)/patient; P < 0.001), antinausea (664 vs 16.3 mg of promethazine/patient; P < 0.001), and antispasmodic (401.3 vs 31.2 mg of cyclobenzaprine/patient; P < 0.001) medication. Patients on the ERAS protocol consumed an average total of 22.7 MME/patient postoperatively. Average pain scores in this group peaked at 5.32 on postoperative day 1 and then decreased significantly daily. Conclusions: Implementation of an ERAS protocol for plastic surgery outpatients with utilization of ultrasound-guided regional anesthetic blocks is feasible and efficacious. The ability to significantly decrease prescribed opioids in this unique patient population is noteworthy.

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Oxford University Press