Opioids do not provide improved pain control following a vasectomy and may be tied to a higher risk for persistent use, according to a study published in the October issue of The Journal of Urology.
David W. Barham, M.D., from Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed the charts of 228 patients who underwent vasectomy in the clinic between April 2017 and March 2018. Encounters with a medical provider for scrotal pain within 30 days as well as subsequent or persistent opioid prescriptions were compared between patients who received opioid prescriptions at the time of vasectomy and those who did not.
The researchers found that 44.7 percent of patients received opioid prescriptions at the time of vasectomy. There were no statistically significant differences between the opioid and nonopioid groups regarding subsequent encounters for scrotal pain (12.7 versus 18.4 percent). In the opioid group, the incidence of new persistent opioid use was 7.8 percent compared with 1.5 percent in the nonopioid group.
"In the face of an opioid epidemic urologists should take action to limit over prescription of opioids after vasectomy," the authors write.
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