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How can opioid dependency following lung surgery be prevented?

To prevent opioid dependency following lung surgery it is vitally important for people to discuss pain management with their surgeon and other healthcare providers prior to surgery. Together with their surgeon, people undergoing lung surgery should develop a plan to appropriately manage their pain while also minimizing their risk of taking these medications for longer than intended after surgery. Issues that should be discussed include the following:

  • details of the surgical operation
  • the risks of using opioids
  • alternatives to opioids for pain management
  • the person's expectations for pain after surgery
  • instructions for the proper disposal of unused pills

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.