A Study of Pain Control Following Sinus Surgery


About this study

The purpose of this study is to determine the degree to which pain following ESS can be adequately controlled by non-opioid medications. It will also determine whether post-ESS narcotic use can be avoided entirely, or at least significantly limited.  The results of this study will help to develop a standardized approach to pain management in the post-ESS setting and help to clarify the role of non-opioid pain medications. The ultimate goal would be to positively affect opioid prescribing patterns among surgeons who perform ESS in order to significantly reduce the quantity of opioids prescribed to patients while continuing to adequately manage patients' pain.



Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria: 

  • 18 years or older.
  • English-speaking. 
  • Scheduled to undergo endoscopic sinus surgery for sinusitis (CRSwNP, CRSsNP, or RARS). 
  • Can commit to follow up for at least one postoperative visit.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients undergoing a septorhinoplasty (septoplasty permissible if patient will also undergo sinus surgery).
  • Doyle splints to be used.
  • Alcohol or opioid use disorder. 
  • History of chronic pain disorders. 
  • Regular use of acetaminophen/NSAIDS (>4x per week). 
  • Patients who use narcotics or neuromodulating drugs (e.g. gabapentin, nortriptyline)more than 2x per week on average. 
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers or bleeding.
  • Chronic kidney disease/known decreased renal function (estimated glomerular filtration rate <60).
  • Liver cirrhosis or other hepatic impairment. 
  • Prior adverse reaction to opioids or NSAIDS. 
  • Other contraindications to any drug classes in either group.

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Garret Choby, M.D.

Open for enrollment

Contact information:

Melanie Thompson CCRP



More information


  • There has been growing recognition of the roles prescription drug misuse and diversion play in facilitating the ongoing opioid epidemic. Our objective was to evaluate opioid prescription patterns among practicing otolaryngologists. Read More on PubMed
  • Objectives To evaluate national trends in opioid prescribing patterns by otolaryngologists for postoperative pain control after common otolaryngologic procedures. Study Design Cross-sectional; survey. Subjects and Methods A survey to determine opioid prescribing patterns for the treatment of postoperative pain following common otolaryngologic procedures was distributed to all members of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Results The most common pain medication prescribed for adults postoperatively was hydrocodone-acetaminophen (73%), followed by oxycodone-acetaminophen (39%). The most common pain medication prescribed postoperatively for children was acetaminophen (67%), followed by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (65%). Overall, there was a wide variation in quantity of opioids prescribed for each surgery, ranging from 0 to more than 60 doses. Mean opioid prescriptions were greatest for tonsillectomy (37 tablets) and least for direct laryngoscopy (5.3 tablets). Conclusion This study identifies nationwide variations in opioid prescribing patterns among otolaryngologists. While otolaryngology is a relatively small specialty, we still have an obligation to work with all physicians to help combat the current opioid epidemic. By evaluating nationwide postoperative pain regimens, we are moving closer toward understanding how to reduce the opioid burden. Read More on PubMed
  • Objectives To recognize current opioid prescription patterns in otolaryngology and determine changes in rates of outpatient opioid prescribing over time. Study Design Cross-sectional analysis of national survey database. Setting Ambulatory care settings in the United States. Subjects and Methods The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 2006 to 2013 was analyzed for outpatient otolaryngology visits. The rate of opioid medication prescribing was determined with patient and visit characteristics associated with an opioid prescription, including corresponding diagnoses. Calendar trends for the rate of opioid prescribing were determined and compared biennially. Results Among 19.2 ± 1.7 million otolaryngology visits annually (raw N = 11,905), there were 728,000 ± 96,000 visits with an opioid prescription (3.8% ± 0.4%). Adults were more likely than children to receive a narcotic (4.3% vs 1.9%, P < .001); there was no significant difference according to sex (3.9% female vs 3.7% male, P = .567). With respect to calendar trend, the opioid prescription rate increased significantly from 2.3% in 2006-2007 to 4.6% in 2008-2011 and then decreased to 3.5% in 2012-2013 ( P < .031). The most common visit diagnosis categories associated with opioid prescribing were as follows: postoperative care (19.7% of prescriptions), adenotonsillitis (13.9%), chronic otitis media (8.7%), otitis externa (6.2%), and nasal obstruction (5.6%). Conclusion Despite the opioid epidemic in the United States, only a small portion of otolaryngology visits were associated with opioid prescription. However, given the significant increase in prescribing from 2008 to 2011, continued surveillance of prescribing patterns is warranted. Read More on PubMed
  • Determine the prevalence of ambulatory sinonasal surgical procedures and perioperative outcomes in the United States. Read More on PubMed

Study Results Summary

Not yet available

Supplemental Study Information

Not yet available


Mayo Clinic Footer