Characteristics of opioid users undergoing surgery for pelvic organ prolapse

Douglas Allan Leach, Leah S. Scarlotta, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Amy E. Glasgow, John A. Occhino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction and hypothesis: Understanding demographic and opioid utilization patterns of preoperative opioid users compared with opioid-naïve patients undergoing surgical treatment for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) better informs opioid prescribing. Methods: A cohort of preoperative opioid users undergoing surgery for POP from 1 January 2012 through 30 May 2017 was identified. Electronic medical records were utilized to obtain pain scores and prescription data. The cohort was organized by surgical approach, number of concomitant procedures, and patient age. These factors were then matched to pain scores, opioid quantity prescribed at discharge, and subsequent refills. Pain scores and opioid use were evaluated for correlation. Results were then compared with similar data previously published for opioid-naïve patients undergoing surgical treatment of POP. Results: Preoperative opioid users were younger (55.5 [14.7] vs 59.5 [12.7]; p = 0.002), of higher body mass index (BMI; 29.2 [5.4] vs 28.6 [10.3]; p = 0.04), and less likely Caucasian (90.3% vs 95.9%; p = 0.002) than opioid-naïve patients. After matching for these differences, opioid users reported higher pain scores (3.5 [2.2] vs 2.6 [1.8]; p = <0.0001), but received similar opioid quantities (324.4 [395] vs 296 [158] oral morphine equivalents [OME]; p = 0.27; 16.8% vs 10.4% refill rates; p = 0.07). In preoperative opioid users, neither surgical approach nor the number of concomitant procedures influenced pain scores. Increasing mean pain scores (1.8 [2.0] to 4.2 [2.4]; p < 0.002) and OME prescribed (226 [170.2] to 541 [902.5] p = 0.056; 0% to 22.2% refill rates; p = 0.02), were seen with decreasing patient age. Pain scores correlated directly with the opioid amount prescribed. Conclusions: Patient age and preoperative opioid utilization should be factored into urogynecological postoperative opioid-prescribing protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1891-1897
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Age
  • Female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery
  • Opioid
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Postoperative pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


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