Outpatient Narcotic Use After Minimally Invasive Urogynecologic Surgery

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To quantify outpatient narcotic use in the first 2 weeks after urogynecologic surgery.


Using a convenience sample, women who underwent minimally invasive urogynecologic surgery between May and October 2014 were contacted by telephone 2 weeks postoperatively and given a questionnaire regarding their postoperative pain experience. To quantify narcotic use, patients were asked to count the tablets remaining from their discharge narcotic prescription. Postoperative pain scores and pain expectations were also assessed. Women using more than 30 narcotics were in the top quartile for use; therefore, those using 30 or fewer versus more than 30 were compared. Logistic regression was used to identify independent factors associated with women in the top quartile for postoperative narcotic use.


Fifty women were included in the study. Median number of narcotics used was 13 (interquartile range (IQR), 1-30) versus 40 (IQR, 35-60) prescribed. Compared to women who used 30 or fewer narcotics (n=38), those using more than 30 (n=12) more frequently were taking narcotics before surgery (13.2% vs 41.7%; P=0.03) and had a chronic pain diagnosis (15.8% vs 58.3%; P=0.003). Although pain scores were similar, women who took more than 30 narcotics more frequently reported their postoperative pain to be much worse or worse than expected (7.9% vs 33.3%; P=0.048). In logistic regression, chronic pain remained the only factor associated with using more than 30 narcotics (odds ratio, 7.36; 95% confidence interval, 1.00-54.03; P=0.0496).


Women used one third of the narcotics they were prescribed after minimally invasive urogynecologic surgery. These data may be useful for establishing narcotic prescription guidelines.

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