Patient-reported opioid use after open abdominal wall reconstruction: How low can we go?

Aldo Fafaj, Samuel J. Zolin, Nikki Rossetti, Jonah D. Thomas, Charlotte M. Horne, Clayton C. Petro, David M. Krpata, Ajita S. Prabhu, Steven Rosenblatt, Michael J. Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Little data exist to inform discharge opioid prescribing for patients undergoing abdominal wall reconstruction. The aim of this study was to evaluate postoperative, patient-reported opioid use after abdominal wall reconstruction. We hypothesized that the majority of patients undergoing open abdominal wall reconstruction would require between 16 and 30 opioid tablets after discharge. Methods: Postoperative, patient-reported opioid use was collected prospectively for all patients undergoing elective, open abdominal wall reconstruction at a single high-volume center. All opioid medications were converted to an equivalent number of 5 mg oxycodone tablets. The primary outcome was the total number of opioid tablets taken within 30 days of hospital discharge after abdominal wall reconstruction. Results: Ninety-eight patients were included. Median hernia width was 15 cm (interquartile range 12–19), 42% were recurrences, and all underwent transversus abdominis release. At the 30-day follow-up visit, 24% reported no postdischarge opioid use, and 76% reported taking 15 tablets or fewer. Of the 23 patients who used no opioids on the day before discharge, 16 (70%) reported taking no opioids after discharge. Conclusion: Most patients reported taking fewer opioid tablets than prescribed and fewer than our hypothesis within 30 days of abdominal wall reconstruction. Opioid use on the day before discharge may allow for prognostication of outpatient opioid requirements to prevent overprescribing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalSurgery (United States)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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