Opioid overdose accounted for more than 47,000 deaths in the United States in 2018. The risk of new persistent opioid use following breast cancer surgery is significant, with up to 10% of patients continuing to fill opioid prescriptions one year after surgery. Over prescription of opioids is far too common. A recent study suggested that up to 80% of patients receiving a prescription for opioids post-operatively do not need them (either do not fill the prescription or do not use the medication). In order to address this important issue, The American Society of Breast Surgeons empaneled an inter-disciplinary committee to develop a consensus statement on pain control for patients undergoing breast surgery. Representatives were nominated by the American College of Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology, The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and The American Society of Anesthesiologists. A broad literature review followed by a more focused review was performed by the inter-disciplinary panel which was comprised of 14 experts in the fields of breast surgery, anesthesiology, plastic surgery, rehabilitation medicine, and addiction medicine. Through a process of multiple revisions, a consensus was developed, resulting in the outline for decreased opioid use in patients undergoing breast surgery presented in this manuscript. The final document was reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors of the American Society of Breast Surgeons.
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