Postoperative Opioid Prescribing After Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery

Krista M.L. Reagan, Sarah H. Boyles, Taylor J. Brueseke, Brian J. Linder, Marcella G. Willis-Gray, Sara B. Cichowski, Jaime B. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to provide female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery (FPMRS) providers with evidence-based guidance on opioid prescribing following surgery. METHODS: A literature search of English language publications between January 1, 2000, and March 31, 2021, was conducted. Search terms identified reports on opioid prescribing, perioperative opioid use, and postoperative pain after FPMRS procedures. Publications were screened, those meeting inclusion criteria were reviewed, and data were abstracted. Data regarding the primary objective included the oral morphine milligram equivalents of opioid prescribed and used after discharge. Information meeting criteria for the secondary objectives was collected, and qualitative data synthesis was performed to generate evidence-based practice guidelines for prescription of opioids after FPMRS procedures. RESULTS: A total of 6,028 unique abstracts were identified, 452 were screened, and 198 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility. Fifteen articles informed the primary outcome, and 32 informed secondary outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: For opioid-naive patients undergoing pelvic reconstructive surgery, we strongly recommend surgeons to provide no more than 15 tablets of opioids (roughly 112.5 morphine milligram equivalents) on hospital discharge. In cases where patients use no or little opioids in the hospital, patients may be safely discharged without postoperative opioids. Second, patient and surgical factors that may have an impact on opioid use should be assessed before surgery. Third, enhanced recovery pathways should be used to improve perioperative care, optimize pain control, and minimize opioid use. Fourth, systemic issues that lead to opioid overprescribing should be addressed. Female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery surgeons must aim to balance adequate postoperative pain control with individual and societal risks associated with excess opioid prescribing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-653
Number of pages11
JournalFemale pelvic medicine & reconstructive surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Postoperative Opioid Prescribing After Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this