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Minimizing opioids after gender affirming orchiectomy – a multimodal pain pathway
School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
Feb  2023 (Vol.  30, Issue  1, Pages( 11414 - 11418)
PMID: 36779947


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  • Introduction:

    To evaluate the effectiveness of a standardized multimodal pain pathway for gender affirming orchiectomy (GAO) in adequately addressing postoperative pain while reducing the prescribing of unnecessary opioids.

    Materials and methods:

    A standardized discharge pain pathway for GAO +/- scrotectomy or testicular implants was implemented between May 2020 and March 2022. A retrospective analysis was performed on all consecutive patients who underwent GAO with a single surgeon. Patients answered five questions on postoperative pain management at their 3 week follow up.


    A total of 69 patients were included in the study. Mean age was 34.3 years (SD ± 10.5; IQR 26-39) with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 27.1 (SD ± 7.5; IQR 22.3-31). No patients were taking narcotics preoperatively. Mean 4.7 tablets (SD ± 4.5; range 0-30) oxycodone tablets taken by GAO patients without concurrent procedures, with 33 patients (47.8%) taking fewer than 4 tablets. Thirteen patients (18.8%) required no narcotics. Four patients (5.8%) requested an additional narcotic prescription, none of whom underwent a concurrent procedure. There was no significant association between BMI and the number of oxycodone tablets taken. All patients used at least one recommended alternative therapy (acetaminophen, ibuprofen and ice packs) with 41 patients (59.4%) using all three.


    Most patients achieved adequate postoperative pain control as requests for additional narcotic prescriptions were low. Almost half of patients used < 4 tablets, and all patients employed at least one alternative non-narcotic analgesic. Based on these findings, we plan to decrease the quantity of opioids on discharge.