24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
Fax: (361)578-5500

Medical Disorders
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Health Tip: Avoiding Air PollutionHow to Manage Your OsteoarthritisWhat Kind of Drinking Can Trigger A-Fib?Are Disinfectants Putting Nurses at Risk of COPD?Fat Collects in Lungs, Raising Asthma RiskDrug Limits Damage of Brain InjuryMore Patients With Heart Disease Die at Home Than in HospitalYour Noisy Knees May Be Trying to Tell You SomethingHealth Tip: 10 Ways to Reduce Injury RiskIs That Statin Doing You Any Good?Surgery Helps Tough-to-Treat Acid RefluxBrain Damage From Concussion Evident a Year LaterFor Kids With Genetic Condition, Statins May Be LifesaversNext-Gen Artificial Pancreas Boosts Blood Sugar ControlAHA News: Lowering Blood Pressure May Prevent New Brain Lesions in Older PeopleBladder Drug Can Cause Eye Damage: StudyGood News, Bad News on Concussions in High School SportsSteroid Shots for Painful Joints May Make Matters WorseHealth Tip: Broken Toe CareSleep Apnea Linked to Diabetic Eye DiseaseChildhood Risk Factors Can Predict Adult ObesityHealth Tip: Gum Disease Risk FactorsPut Safety First When Planning to Pack Food-to-GoA Parent's Guide to Managing Kids' Asthma During the FallWhat Foods Are Most Likely to Cause Acne Breakouts?Vision Problems Strike More Than 2 Billion GloballyLight Smoking Causes More Lung Damage Than Once Suspected: StudyHealth Tip: Choking First AidBy Mid-Century, Heat Waves Could Cover Far Bigger AreasGet Vaccinated Before Flu Takes Hold: CDCClose to 1,300 Cases of Vaping-Linked Illness Now IdentifiedMore Years of Football, Higher Odds for Brain Disease LaterPain Relief: When to Use Cold, When to Use HeatAHA News: High Triglycerides Caused a Diet Change – at Age 10Humans May Possess Ability to Regrow CartilageHealth Tip: Recognizing Bedbug Bites'Smartphone Slouching' More Serious Than It SoundsAHA News: What's Your Sense of Purpose? The Answer May Affect Your HealthDeep Brain Stimulation May Relieve Ringing in the Ears: StudyWhat Are the Risks of Pain Relief Alternatives to Opioids?Many ICU Admissions May Be Preventable, Large Study SuggestsCause of Paralyzing Illness in Kids Remains ElusiveFlu Season Is Coming: Here's How to Protect YourselfSinus Infections: What You Need to KnowFewer Teeth, Higher Risk of Heart Disease?Fungal Invasion May Drive Some Pancreatic CancersHealth Tip: Lowering Your Resting Heart RateYour Washer Might Be Breeding Drug-Resistant GermsCan Your Eating Habits Keep Alzheimer's at Bay?Prescription Opioids Linked to Poor Outcomes in Kidney Patients
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics


Opioid Prescriptions for Eye Surgery Patients Surge

HealthDay News
by -- Alan Mozes
Updated: Sep 19th 2019

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Sept. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Though eye surgery has gotten easier for patients, the percentage who filled an opioid prescription after an eye operation tripled between 2000 and 2014, a new study reports.

"This really is surprising, given that there have been tremendous strides in the past decade to reduce the invasiveness and recovery time for these procedures," said senior study author Dr. Brian VanderBeek. "We would have expected rates to go down, not up."

VanderBeek is an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

For the study, his team tracked filled opioid prescriptions among more than 2.4 million patients who had "incisional" eye surgery in the United States between 2000 and 2016.

In 2000-2001, across six different ocular subspecialties, 1.2% of patients undergoing cataract surgery or other types of incisional eye surgeries filled an opioid prescription afterward.

But by 2014, that figure rose to 2.5% of patients. The uptick eased in 2015 to 2.2%, and then again in 2016 to 2.1%, according to the report published in the Sept. 19 issue of JAMA Ophthalmology.

Eye surgery patients in the Northeast were least likely to fill an opioid prescription; those in the Mountain states were most likely to do so. Odds were highest among black patients, men and those without a college degree, the findings showed.

After accounting for other factors, opioid prescriptions tripled during the study period across all of the eye procedures in the study, the researchers found.

VanderBeek pointed out that the procedures are unrelated to one another, yet the rise in prescription rates among them was nearly identical. That suggests something other than surgery-related pain is driving the increase, he said.

The findings dovetail with a nationwide opioid epidemic that resulted in more than 47,000 deaths in 2017 alone.

Still, compared with patients who undergo other types of surgery, prescription of opioids among eye surgery patients remains very low, the study authors stressed.

"Whenever you have an epidemic, I think it's reasonable to ask what you can do to curb it," VanderBeek said in a university news release.

"Even if eye surgeries are a minor source of the problem, if we can limit some of the exposure to opioids, in light of the national emergency, we are obligated to do what we can. We don't want people to be in pain, but we also don't want to continue to fuel the problem if we can avoid it," he added.

More information

For more about the opioid epidemic, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.