Nose Jobs are Driving Up Opioid Use: Doctors say the Boom in Rhinoplasties is a Key Factor in the Addiction Epidemic

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Recently there has been a spate of adverse publicity surrounding plastic surgery. The most recent issue that has been raised is the increased use of opiates to the point of addiction correlating with the increased rates of surgery.

This is nothing more than sensationalism. Although in the early postoperative phase as with any surgery pain is a feature often requiring opiates intermittently for relief, the pain from the procedure is relatively mild, say in comparison to hip or knee joint surgery or joint replacement. So why don’t we say an epidemic of opiate addiction in this patient group. Societies where rhinoplasty surgery is amongst the most common procedures in the Middle East such as Iran, Turkey or Lebanon are also not reporting an epidemic of opiate addiction either. There is no doubt that pain relief medications especially opiates if used inappropriately may result in long term dependence. But does increased rates of rhinoplasty correlate with an opiate addiction epidemic as suggested by this article, of course not that is just sensationalism or better put fake news.

The study is from Boston it has an anaemic total of 173 rhinoplasties that were followed up, only two patients had their scripts refilled and a small percentage, 11% didn’t fill in their initial scripts at all. The discussion went that over prescribing opiates therefore can result in incorrect use. All do this a far cry from an opiate epidemic. So to put in perspective a so small study’s without adequate follow up that could not be considered authoritative in any way, showing no addiction but that perhaps operates were overprescribed (not over used by patients). Fake news indeed.

To read the Daily Mail article in full, clink the link below:

Dr Ross Farhadieh
Dr Farhadieh is an internationally renowned Australian qualified and trained Plastic Surgery. He holds fellowship qualifications in Plastic Surgery from Royal Australian College of Surgeons, Royal College of Surgeons (England) as well the European Board of Plastic Reconstructive Aesthetic Surgery. He has multiple clinical subspecialty fellowships in Cosmetic, Pediatrics as well as Microsurgery from World Leading institutes in London.
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