The association of Postoperative Opioid Prescriptions with P
Surgeons can ease their patients' pain from common operations without prescribing opioids, and avoid the possibility of starting someone on a path to long-term use, a pair of new studies suggests.

This study was aimed to compare outcomes after surgery between patients who were not prescribed opioids and patients who were prescribed opioids.

Researchers performed a retrospective study of adult patients who underwent surgery. The primary outcome was the composite incidence of an emergency department visit, readmission, or reoperation within 30 days of surgery. Secondary outcomes were postoperative pain, satisfaction, quality of life, and regret collected via postoperative survey. In a cohort of 22,345 patients, the mean age was 52.1 years and 13,269 patients were female.

- About 3175 patients were not prescribed opioids, of whom 422 met the composite adverse event endpoint compared to 2255 of patients who were not prescribed opioids.

- Patients not prescribed opioids had a similar probability of adverse events.

- Among 12,872 survey respondents, patients who have not prescribed an opioid had a similar rate of high satisfaction and no regret.

Conclusively, patients who were not prescribed opioids after surgery had similar clinical and patient-reported outcomes as patients who were prescribed opioids. This suggests that minimizing opioids as part of routine postoperative care is unlikely to adversely affect patients.

Annals of Surgery