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Opioid Prescription & Use After Gynecologic Surgery

J Minim Invasive Gynecol; ePub 2017 Nov 14; Griffith, et al

Following gynecologic surgery, physicians prescribe fewer opioids following a minimally-invasive approach to hysterectomy vs open hysterectomy; however, most patients use less than half of prescribed opioids and a fraction do not use opioids at all. This according to a survey study of physicians and patients that included 1) a physician survey on opioid prescribing practices following gynecologic procedures, and 2) a patient survey on opioid consumption following hysterectomy. 96 gynecologists and 147 patients who underwent a benign hysterectomy between January 2015 and April 2016 were included. Researchers found:

  • 51 physicians responded to the survey and prescribed a mean of 27.1 tabs of oxycodone (5 mg) or hydromorphone (2 mg) after abdominal hysterectomy (AH), a mean of 22.6 tabs after laparoscopic hysterectomy (LH), and a mean of 16.8 tabs after a vaginal hysterectomy (VH).
  • Physicians prescribed more opioids for AH compared to LH with a mean difference of 4.5 tabs, and AH compared to VH with a mean difference of 6.8 tabs.
  • However, 64.6% of patients used less than half of the opioids prescribed, and 16.1% used no tabs.


Griffith KC, Clark NV, Zuckerman AL, Ferzandi TR, Wright KN. Opioid prescription and patient use following gynecologic procedures: A survey of patients and providers. [Published online ahead of print November 14, 2017]. J Minim Invasive Gynecol. doi:10.1016/j.jmig.2017.11.005.