National Variation in Opioid Prescription Fills and Long-Term Use in Opioid Naïve Patients after Urological Surgery.

Journal Article (Multicenter Study;Journal Article)


Prescription opioid use is increasing, leading to increased addiction and mortality. Postoperative care is often the first exposure to opioids of a patient but little data exist on national prescription patterns in urology. We examined post-discharge opioid fills after urological procedures and the association with long-term use.

Materials and methods

We identified patients in a private national insurance database who underwent 1 of 15 urological procedures between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2014. Patients with an opioid fill in the preceding 6 months were excluded from study. Claims for opioids from 30 days before the operation until 7 days after discharge characterized an initial prescription. Factors associated with persistent opioid use (an opioid claim 91 to 180 days after the operation) and chronic opioid use (10 or more refills of a 120-day or greater supply in the year after the operation) were analyzed using multivariable logistic regression.


Overall 96,580 patients were included in study, of whom 49,391 (51%) filled an initial opioid prescription. Variation in the initial prescribed amount existed within procedures. Persistent use occurred in 6.2% of patients while chronic use occurred in 0.8%. Increased prescription in patients treated with transurethral prostate resection, vasectomy, female sling surgery, cystoscopy and stent insertion were associated with an increased risk of persistent as well as chronic use.


National variation in opioid prescribing practice exists after urological operations. Patients who fill larger amounts of opioids after certain major and minor urological procedures are at increased risk for long-term opioid use. This provides evidence for procedure specific prescribing guidelines to minimize risk and promote standardization.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Berger, I; Strother, M; Talwar, R; Ziemba, J; Wirtalla, C; Xia, L; Guzzo, T; Delgado, MK; Kelz, R

Published Date

  • November 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 202 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1036 - 1043

PubMed ID

  • 31112103

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-3792

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-5347

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/ju.0000000000000343


  • eng