To assess variables associated with opioid prescriptions filled perioperatively after hysterectomy and the risk of prolonged opioid use through 1 year after hysterectomy.
In this retrospective cohort study, we used the 2005–2015 IBM MarketScan databases to identify women aged at least 18 years who underwent hysterectomy. For opioid use, we identified filled prescriptions for opioid medications. We excluded women with prevalent opioid use, defined as an opioid prescription filled 180 to 30 days preoperatively or at least two prescriptions filled in the 30 days before surgery. We defined perioperative opioid use as any opioid prescription filled within 30 days before or 7 days after surgery. We used log-binomial regression to identify independent predictors of perioperative opioid prescription fill. To assess the risk of long-term opioid use, we estimated the proportion of women with ongoing monthly opioid prescriptions through 12 months after surgery and the proportion of women with any opioid prescription 3–6 months after surgery, mimicking published estimates.
Among 569,634 women who underwent hysterectomy during the study period, 176,537 (30.9%) were excluded owing to prevalent opioid use. We found that 331,322 (84.3%) women filled a perioperative opioid prescription, with median quantity of 30 pills (interquartile range 25–40), and that younger (adjusted risk ratio [adjRR]18–24
0.91) and older (adjRR65–74
0.70) patients were less likely to receive a perioperative prescription compared with women aged 45–54. The proportion of women with continuous monthly fills of opioids through 2, 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery was 1.40%, 0.34%, 0.06%, and 0.02%, respectively.
Most women who underwent hysterectomy in the United States from 2005 to 2015 filled a perioperative opioid prescription with a median quantity of 30 pills. The risk of prolonged opioid use through 6 months is quite low, at 0.06% or 1 in 1,547.