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Longitudinal patient-reported outcomes and restrictive opioid prescribing after minimally invasive gynecologic surgery


Objective To determine post-discharge patient-reported symptoms before and after implementation of restrictive opioid prescribing among women undergoing minimally invasive gynecologic surgery.

Methods We compared clinical outcomes and symptom burden among a cohort of 389 women undergoing minimally invasive gynecologic surgery at a single institution before and after implementation of a restrictive opioid prescribing quality improvement initiative in July 2018. Post-discharge symptom burdens were collected up to 42 days after discharge using the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory and analyzed using linear mixed effects models.

Results The majority of women included in this study were white non-smokers and the median age was 55 (range 23–83). Most women underwent hysterectomy (64%), had surgery for malignancy (71%), and were discharged from the hospital on the day of surgery (65%). Women in the restrictive opioid prescribing group had a median reduction in morphine equivalent dose prescribed at discharge of 83%, corresponding to a median reduction in 25 tablets of 5 mg oxycodone per person. There was no difference between opioid prescribing groups in either the rate of refill requests (P=1) or hospital re-admission (P=1) up to 30 days after discharge. After adjustment for co-variates, there was no statistically significant difference in post-discharge symptom burden including patient-reported pain (P=0.08), sleep (P=0.30), walking interference (P=0.64), activity interference (P=0.12), or affective interference (P=0.67). There was a trend toward less reported constiptation in the restrictive opioid prescribing group that did not reach statistical significance (P=0.05).

Conclusion We found that restrictive post-operative opioid prescribing was not associated with differences in longitudinal symptom burden among women undergoing minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. These results provide the most comprehensive picture to date of post-operative symptom recovery under different opioid prescribing approaches, lending additional support for existing recommendations to reduce opioid prescribing following gynecologic surgery.

  • opioid-related disorders
  • pain
  • quality of life (PRO)/palliative care
  • surgery
  • postoperative care

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