Prescribing Trends in Post-operative Pain Management After Urologic Surgery: A Quality Care Investigation for Healthcare Providers

Jeffrey L. Ellis, Eric M. Ghiraldi, Joshua A. Cohn, Matthew Nitti, Justin I. Friedlander, Serge Ginzburg, Steven N. Sterious, Philip Abbosh, Erin Ohmann, Robert G. Uzzo, Jay Simhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess prescribing and refilling trends of narcotics in postoperative urology patients at our institution. Although the opioid epidemic remains a public health threat, no series has assessed prescribing patterns across urologic surgery disciplines following discharge. Methods: All urologic surgeries were retrospectively reviewed from May 2017-April 2018. Demographics, comorbidities, and postoperative pain management strategies were analyzed. Narcotics usage following surgery were reported in total morphine equivalents (TME). Opioid refill rate was characterized by medical specialty and stratified by urologic discipline. Results: 817 cases were reviewed. Mean age and TME at discharge was 57±15.6 years and 35.43±19.5 mg, respectively. 13.6% (mean age 55±15.9) received a narcotic refill following discharge (mean TME/refill 37.7±28.9 mg). A higher proportion of patients with a pre-operative opioid prescription received a refill compared to opioid naïve patients (38.2% vs 21.6%, P < .01). Refill rate did not differ between urologic subspecialties (P = .3). Urologists were only responsible for 20.4% of all refills filled, despite all patients continuing follow-up with their surgeon. Procedures with the highest rates of post-operative refills were in oncology, male reconstruction/trauma and endourology. Patients with a history of chronic pain (OR 1.9, CI 1.1-3.3) preoperative narcotic prescription (OR 1.6, CI 1.0-2.6), and higher ASA score (OR 1.8, CI 1.6-2.8) were more likely to obtain a postoperative opioid prescription refill. Conclusion: Approximately 1 in 7 postoperative urology patients receive a postoperative narcotics refill; however, nearly two-thirds receive refills exclusively from non-urologic providers. Attempts to avoid overprescribing of postoperative narcotics need to account for both surgeon and nonsurgeon sources of opioid refills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Health Personnel/classification
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Pain Management/methods
  • Pain, Postoperative/diagnosis
  • Patient Discharge/statistics & numerical data
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'/standards
  • Quality Improvement/organization & administration
  • United States/epidemiology
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures/adverse effects


Dive into the research topics of 'Prescribing Trends in Post-operative Pain Management After Urologic Surgery: A Quality Care Investigation for Healthcare Providers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this