Postoperative Opioid Use in Rhinoplasty Procedures: A Standardized Regimen

Academic Article


  • The objective of this study was to create a standardized regimen for preoperative and postoperative analgesic prescribing patterns in rhinoplasty. A prospective study including patients (n = 35) undergoing rhinoplasty by a single surgeon at a tertiary hospital was conducted. Patients were enrolled in this study from August 2018 to November 2019. Patients then completed a diary documenting pain scores and analgesic use for 14 days postoperatively. Patient demographics, complications, rhinoplasty technique performed, and medical history were noted. At the second postoperative clinic visit, the diaries were submitted and pill counts were conducted to ensure accuracy. A total of 23 patients completed this study. The average age of the cohort was 39.07 ± 15.01 years, and 48% were females. The mean number of opioids consumed was 6.15 ± 4.85 pills (range: 0-18). Females consumed an average of 7.2 ± 5.2 pills and males consumed 4.5 ± 3.96 pills. The mean number of acetaminophen and ibuprofen tablets consumed were 7.48 ± 8.52 pills (range: 0-36) and 10.83 ± 10.99 pills (range 0-39), respectively. No postoperative nosebleeds were reported. Males had significantly higher pain scores than females on postoperative days 1 to 8. The mean pain score for postoperative days 8 to 14 was less than 1. Linear regression analysis showed that there was no association between the rhinoplasty technique used and the number of opioids consumed. Rhinoplasty is typically associated with mild pain even when osteotomies are included with the procedure. Our results suggest that surgeons can limit rhinoplasty opioid prescriptions to around seven pills and achieve sufficient pain control in most patients. Preoperative counseling suggesting a low postoperative pain level and the encouragement of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use will help reduce the risk and misuse of opioid prescriptions.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Marshall RV; Rivers NJ; Manickavel S; Grayson JW; Cox AJ
  • Start Page

  • 110
  • End Page

  • 116
  • Volume

  • 37
  • Issue

  • 1