What factors are associated with increased risk for prolonged postoperative opioid usage after colorectal surgery?
Opioid-related deaths have increased substantially over the last 10 years placing clinician’s prescription practices under intense scrutiny. Given the substantial risk of opioid dependency after colorectal surgery, we sought to analyze risk of postoperative prolonged opioid use after colorectal resections.
Between 2008 and 2014, patients undergoing abdominopelvic procedure with intestinal resection at a tertiary care facility were retrospectively identified. Patient’s postoperative narcotic usage including their prescriptions on discharge and their total opioid medication use was recorded. Patient variables such as demographics, surgical characteristics, and prescription use were evaluated. Finally, we developed multivariate models to identify risk factors for prolonged opioid use (> 30 days after incident surgical procedure).
We identified 9423 recorded procedures of which 2173 consisted of abdominopelvic procedures with intestinal resection and survived > 1 year. Of these, 91% (n = 1981) were discharged on opioids, and 98% (n = 1955) of those patients filled only one prescription. A total of 92 (4%) patients remained on opioids beyond 30 days, and from this group, 25% (n = 23 patients) remained at 90 days. We found no association between postoperative complications, stoma formation, and patient’s sex with risk of prolonged opioid use. However, younger age and history of chronic pain were associated with an increased risk of prolonged opioid use. The use of minimally invasive techniques also attenuated the risk of prolonged opioid use (Table 2).
A small but considerable proportion of patients remain on opioids beyond 30 days. Predictors of opioid use for greater than 30 days include a history of chronic pain and younger age. The use of minimally invasive techniques reduced the risk of prolonged opioid use. We identified several immutable risk factors that predicted prolonged postoperative opioid use; however, surgeons may be able to attenuate prolonged opioid use through the use of minimally invasive techniques.
KeywordsOpioid use Minimally invasive techniques Postoperative care
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Ms Caitlin Stafford, Dr. Todd Francone, Dr. Patricia L. Roberts, and Dr. Rocco Ricciaridi have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.
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