Does ketorolac administration at the time of hypospadias surgery increase unplanned encounters in the immediate postoperative period?

J Pediatr Urol. 2023 Jun;19(3):289.e1-289.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpurol.2023.01.014. Epub 2023 Jan 30.


Introduction & objective: The opioid crisis has raised concerns for long-term sequela of routine administration of opioids to patients, particularly in the pediatric population. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use is limited in hypospadias surgery due to concerns for post-operative bleeding, particularly with ketorolac. We hypothesize that ketorolac administration at the time of hypospadias repair is not associated with increased bleeding or immediate adverse events.

Methods: A retrospective single institution study included all patients undergoing hypospadias surgery from 2018 to 2021. Outcomes measured include peri-operative ketorolac administration, opioid prescriptions, and unplanned encounters (i.e., emergency department or office visits). Comparative statistics using non-parametric and binary/categorical tests and a logistic regression were performed.

Results: 1044 patients were included, among whom there were 562 distal, 278 proximal and 204 hypospadias complication repairs. Ketorolac was administered to 396 (37.9%) patients and its utilization increased during the study period [Summary Figure]. Patients receiving ketorolac were older (p = 0.002) and were prescribed opioids less often after surgery (2.0% vs 5.2%, p = 0.009). There was no difference in unplanned encounters across repair types (p = 0.1). Multivariate logistic regression showed ketorolac use was not associated with an increased likelihood of an unplanned encounter.

Discussion: The use of NSAIDs post-operatively has traditionally been limited due to concerns about bleeding risks, however the present study displayed no significant increases in unplanned patient encounters either in the ED or outpatient clinic after ketorolac administration. Our study has several limitations including its retrospective and single-institutional design, difficulties of pain assessment in pediatric population, and possibility of under estimation of unplanned encounters due to limited access to patients' records outside of our institution.

Conclusions: The use of ketorolac is not associated with an increase in unplanned encounters in children undergoing hypospadias repair. It should be considered a safe agent for perioperative analgesia to decrease opioid utilization. Further studies will evaluate long-term surgical outcomes in children receiving ketorolac after hypospadias repair.

Keywords: Analgesia; Complications; Hypospadias; Ketorolac; Pediatric.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Hypospadias* / chemically induced
  • Hypospadias* / surgery
  • Ketorolac* / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Ketorolac
  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal