King's College London

Research portal

Association of surgical approach and prolonged opioid prescriptions in patients undergoing major pelvic cancer procedures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Marieke J. Krimphove, Xi Chen, Maya Marchese, David F. Friedlander, Adam C. Fields, Lina Roa, Daniel Pucheril, Adam S. Kibel, Nelya Melnitchouk, Richard D. Urman, Luis A. Kluth, Prokar Dasgupta, Quoc Dien Trinh

Original languageEnglish
Article number235
JournalBMC Surgery
Issue number1
Published1 Dec 2020

King's Authors


Background: The rise in deaths attributed to opioid drugs has become a major public health problem in the United States and in the world. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is associated with a faster postoperative recovery and our aim was to investigate if the use of MIS was associated with lower odds of prolonged opioid prescriptions after major procedures. Methods: Retrospective study using the IBM Watson Health Marketscan® Commerical Claims and Encounters Database investigating opioid-naïve cancer patients aged 18–64 who underwent open versus MIS radical prostatectomy (RP), partial colectomy (PC) or hysterectomy (HYS) from 2012 to 2017. Propensity weighted logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the independent effect of surgical approach on prolonged opioid prescriptions, defined as prescriptions within 91–180 days of surgery. Results: Overall, 6838 patients underwent RP (MIS 85.5%), 4480 patients underwent PC (MIS 61.6%) and 1620 patients underwent HYS (MIS 41.8%). Approximately 70–80% of all patients had perioperative opioid prescriptions. In the weighted model, patients undergoing MIS were significantly less likely to have prolonged opioid prescriptions in all three surgery types (Odds Ratio [OR] 0.737, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 0.595–0.914, p = 0.006; OR 0.728, 95% CI 0.600–0.882, p = 0.001; OR 0.655, 95% CI 0.466–0.920, p = 0.015, respectively). Conclusion: The use of the MIS was associated with lower odds of prolonged opioid prescription in all procedures examined. While additional studies such as clinical trials are needed for further confirmation, our findings need to be considered for patient counseling as postoperative differences between approaches do exist.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454