Orthognathic surgery often requires postoperative opioid pain management. The goal of this study was to examine opioid prescribing patterns in adults after orthognathic surgery and to analyze factors associated with high-dose postoperative opioid administration and persistent opioid use.
We included opioid naive adults in the IBM MarketScan Databases who had undergone orthognathic surgery from 2003 to 2017. Three outcomes were examined: presence of a perioperative outpatient opioid claim; total oral morphine milliequivalents (MMEs) in the perioperative period; and persistent opioid use. Univariate analysis and multiple regression were used to determine associations between the outcomes and independent variables.
Our study yielded a cohort of 8163 opioid naive adults, 45.6% of whom had an opioid claim in the perioperative period. The average prescribed MMEs in the perioperative period was 466 MMEs total, and 66 MMEs daily. Of patients with an opioid claim, 17.9% had persistent opioid use past 90 days. The presence of a complication was a predictor of having an opioid claim (P<0.001). Increasing age (P<0.001) and days hospitalized (P < 0.001) were associated with increased opioid usage. Persistent opioid use was associated with being prescribed more than 600 MMEs in the perioperative period (P < 0.001), as well as increasing age and days hospitalized. Interestingly, patients undergoing double-jaw surgery did not have significantly more opioids prescribed than those undergoing single-jaw surgery.
Prescription opioids are relatively uncommon after jaw surgery, although 17.9% of patients continue to use opioids beyond 3 months after surgery. Predictors of persistent opioid use in this population include the number of days hospitalized, increasing age, and increasing amount of opioid prescribed postoperatively.