Aims: To investigate the main reasons for use of opioids during acute episodes of renal colic and for ureteral stent symptoms post-operatively.
Material and methods: A survey assessing the impact of decreased quality of life and use of opioid pain medication was distributed to patients with a history of ureteral stent at seven academic centers between July 2016 and June 2018.
Results: A total of 365 surveys were completed. Opioid use for stone (63.9%) and stent-related pain (39.0%) was common among respondents. When assessing whether patients used more opioids for stone or stent-related pain, 47.7% reported using more for stone pain while 15.0% reported using more for stent pain. 22.6% of patients required opioids for stent-related pain and not stone pain. Increasing patient age was found to be negatively associated with using opioids for stent-related pain (OR: 0.4, 95% CI: 0.3 - 0.6). Increasing age was also found to be negatively associated with opioid use for stone pain (OR: 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4 - 0.8). Patients with a greater number of prior stones had 3.2 times the odds of using opioids for stone pain, in our adjusted model (95% CI: 2.1 - 4.7).
Conclusion: Patients with more prior stone episodes are more likely to have used opioids for their most recent episode. Although ureteral stents have been shown to be associated with a decreased quality of life, we showed that the use of opioids for stent-related pain is less than that for stone pain. Younger patients are less likely to tolerate a stent without opioid analgesics.