for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at Los Angeles, California and other locations
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by James Wu



In a recent study, researchers let patients choose what medications to go home with after endocrine surgery. This has not been done in outpatient breast surgery, though several institutions have moved towards avoiding opioids altogether after breast surgery. These institutions only prescribed rescue opioids upon request.

The aim of this study is to compare a similar "opt-in" protocol for narcotics to usual care (where patients are routinely discharged with opioids) for outpatient breast surgery.

This study will be designed as a randomized, controlled trial. When adult patients consent for outpatient breast surgery, the patients will be asked to participate in the study. Patients who are currently using narcotics would be excluded. The investigators would then randomize participants to the "opt-in" protocol versus being provided with a standard opioid prescription after surgery. Patients in the opt-in protocol will be recommended a pain treatment regimen with over-the-counter medications, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These patients will be reassured that if their pain is uncontrolled after discharge, a narcotic prescription will be called in to their pharmacy if requested.

The investigators will assess patient pain scores and medication use in the recovery area using the electronic medical record. The investigators will collect data on patient pain scores and medication use after discharge on a daily basis via phone call or electronically transmitted survey. The investigators will also evaluate patients at the time of their follow-up visits. Any patient phone calls will be routed to study personnel who will fill narcotic prescription requests if requested. Finally, among patients who do receive an opioid prescription, the investigators will track their opioid consumption.


Due to the current opioid epidemic, there has been increased focus on the prescribing patterns of physicians and greater incentive to reduce the amount of narcotic pain medication prescribed.

A recent publication in Journal of American Medical Association Surgery conducted by researchers from the same institution found that giving patients the option of choosing to receive a narcotic prescription or not following endocrine surgery significantly reduced opioid prescriptions and waste without increased pain or worse quality of life. No patients called in to request narcotic pain medication after discharge.


Given the current health care and political climate, there has been increasing focus on reducing the amount of narcotics prescribed by health care providers. Based on the results of the above cited study, the investigators believe implementing an opt-in program at University of California at Los Angeles will also significantly decrease the amount of opioids prescribed for postoperative pain following outpatient breast surgery as well.


Breast Cancer, Breast Surgery, Opioid Use, POINT-B


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • Undergoing outpatient breast surgery (less than 24 hour stay)
  • Understands written English

You CAN'T join if...

  • Current ongoing opioid use
  • Increased complexity of surgery requiring longer hospital stay


  • UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center accepting new patients
    Los Angeles California 90095 United States
  • UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center accepting new patients
    Santa Monica California 90404 United States

Lead Scientist at UCLA

  • James Wu
    HS Assistant Clinical Professor, Surgery, Medicine. Authored (or co-authored) 44 research publications


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, Los Angeles
Study Type
Expecting 240 study participants
Last Updated