Postoperative Opioid Prescribing following Gynecologic Surgery for Pelvic Organ Prolapse

D. Allan Leach, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Amy E. Glasgow, John A. Occhino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate postoperative pain scores, quantity of prescribed opioids at hospital discharge, and need for additional opioid prescriptions among women undergoing surgical treatment of pelvic organ prolapse. Methods Institutional billing data were used to identify all patients undergoing pelvic reconstructive surgery between January 1, 2012, and May 30, 2017. Inpatient records were utilized to obtain prescription data (reported in oral morphine equivalents for standardization) and pain scores. The cohort was organized by surgical approach (open, endoscopic, vaginal), number of concomitant procedures, and patient age stratified by decade. These factors were then matched to postoperative pain scores, amount of opioid prescribed at discharge, and number of subsequent opioid refills. Pain scores and opioid use were also compared for correlation. Results One thousand eight hundred thirty patients underwent surgical treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and met criteria for study participation. A significant decrease in pain scores, mean oral morphine equivalents prescribed, and opioid refill rates was seen with increasing patient age by decade regardless of surgical approach. Pain scores were significantly different only between patients undergoing vaginal surgery with 0 concomitant procedures versus 1 or more concomitant procedures. Finally, pain scores were directly correlated to the amount of opioid prescribed. Conclusions Pain scores, opioid prescription amounts, and refills varied by patient age and surgical approach but were unaffected by concomitant procedures. Further work in correlating pain scores to opioid utilization is needed to ensure appropriate prescribing patterns and reduce risks of opioid dependence and diversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-584
Number of pages5
JournalFemale Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • age
  • opioid
  • pelvic organ prolapse
  • postoperative pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


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