Introduction and hypothesis: Opioid use, addiction, and overdose are a growing epidemic in the USA. Our objective was to determine whether the amount of opioid medication prescribed following gynecologic and pelvic reconstructive surgery is insufficient, adequate, or in excess. We hypothesized that we were overprescribing postoperative opioids. Methods: Participants who were at least 18 years old and underwent gynecologic and/or pelvic reconstructive surgery from April through August 2016 were eligible to participate. Routine practice for pain management is to prescribe 30 tablets of opioids for major procedures and ten to 15 tablets for minor procedures. At the 2-week postoperative visit, participants completed a questionnaire regarding the number of tablets prescribed and used, postoperative pain control, and relevant medical history. Fisher’s exact test was used to compare data. Results: Sixty-five participants completed questionnaires. Half (49.1%) reported being prescribed more opioids than needed, while two (3.5%) felt the amount was less than needed. Though not significant, participants who underwent major surgeries were more likely to report being prescribed more than needed (53.5%) compared with participants who underwent minor surgeries (35.7%; p = 0.47). Though not significant, participants with anxiety were less likely to report being prescribed more tablets than needed compared with participants without anxiety (44.4% vs. 57.1%; p = 0.38). This was also true of participants with depression compared with those without (37.5% vs. 58.3%; p = 0.17), and those with chronic pain compared with those without (33.3% vs. 60.0%; p = 0.10). Conclusions: Our current opioid prescription practice for postoperative pain management may exceed what patients need.
- Gynecologic and pelvic reconstructive surgery
- Postoperative opioid use
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology