Opioid use after minimally invasive hysterectomy in gynecologic oncology patients

OBJECTIVES: 

To quantify, and identify predictors of, post-discharge opioid use in gynecologic oncology patients undergoing minimallyinvasive hysterectomy (MIH).

METHODS: 

For this prospective cohort study, gynecologic oncology patients planning to undergo MIH were recruited at a single institution. Post-operative opioid usage was evaluated via chart review and surveys at 1-2-week and 4-6-week post-operative visits. Opioids are converted to oral morphine milligram equivalents (MME) for standardization. Descriptive statistics and modified Poisson regression were used to quantify opioid requirements and evaluate predictors of post-discharge opioid use respectively.

RESULTS: 

One hundred eighteen eligible women underwent MIH. Of these, 108 had complete data at both follow-up timepoints. Malignancy was present in 79% of cases, 71% of which were endometrial cancer. Most surgeries were laparoscopic (73%). Median hospital stay was 1 night (IQR 1-1). Inpatients received a median of 30.75 MME (IQR 7.5-52.5 MME). Twenty-three women (21.3%) used no opioids while inpatient. At the 1-2-week follow-up median usage was 6 pills of 5 mg oxycodone, or 45 MME (IQR 0-15.5 pills). After complete follow-up, median post-discharge usage was 10 pills, or 75 MME (IQR 0-22.5 pills) and 36 participants (33.33%) used no opioids after hospital discharge. The median prescription was for 30 pills (range 10-60). Above median inpatient opioid use was associated with an increased risk of above median opioid usage after hospital discharge (RR 2.31, 95% CI 1.38-3.87) on multivariable analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: 

In this cohort, opioids were overprescribed relative to use. Inpatient use was the strongest predictor of post-discharge opioid use. More restrictive, and personalized, opioid prescribing practices may be a pathway to reduce opioid misuse and diversion. PRéCIS: Opioids were overprescribed by a factor of three to gynecologic oncology patients, whose inpatient opioid requirement predicted post-discharge opioid needs after minimally invasive hysterectomy.