A narcotic free pathway for postoperative pain following urethroplasty

Eileen R. Byrne, Thomas W. Fuller, Sunchin Kim, Engy T. Said, Jill C. Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: In an effort to decrease physician contribution to the opioid crisis, we utilized a narcotic free pathway (NFP) after urethroplasty. Our objectives were to demonstrate feasibility of a NFP and identify patients at higher risk for requiring postoperative narcotics.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We implemented a NFP for patients undergoing urethroplasty. Pain was assessed using the Likert scale (1-10). Narcotic use was quantified using oral morphine equivalents (OMEs).

RESULTS: Forty-six patients underwent urethroplasty following the NFP over a 7-month period. Fifteen patients were excluded, leaving 31 patients in the final analysis. Postintervention data was compared to 30 patients who underwent urethroplasty prior to implementation of the NFP. The groups had similar demographics except for a history of heroin abuse (0% preintervention, 12.9% postintervention, p = 0.04). Surgical characteristics were not statistically different aside from length of surgery (183.6 minutes preintervention, 145.5 minutes postintervention, p = 0.01). The mean [SD] perioperative OME use preintervention was 194.9 [151] mg, compared to 40.4 [111.9] mg postintervention (p < 0.001). Six patients postintervention were discharged with a narcotic prescription (mean 27.5 mg OME) compared to 26 patients preintervention (mean 76 mg OME) (p < 0.001). There was no difference in pain scores at any time interval. Patients with a history of chronic opioid use were more likely to require narcotics (OR 5.33, CI 1-28.44).

CONCLUSIONS: The narcotic free pathway resulted in a dramatic reduction in narcotic prescriptions without a significant difference in postoperative pain scores. Opioid use can be minimized following urethral and perineal surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10914-10919
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Urology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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