There has been a dramatic rise in opioid-related deaths over the past decade. Most of the reduction strategies have focused on outpatient use; however, recent studies have demonstrated an association between inpatient opioid use and consumption following discharge across a variety of surgical procedures. The objective of this study is to evaluate the association of inpatient use of opioids as well as the consumption of opioids after discharge following endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR).
A prospectively maintained database was reviewed for cases between 2015-2018. Patients were included in the study if they underwent an elective EVAR, had an intensive care unit stay less than 1 day and total length of stay less than 3 days. Patients were contacted to participate in a survey of opioid use if they received a prescription at discharge. The primary outcome was percent of prescribed opioids consumed following discharge. Multivariate analyses were performed to determine predictors of receiving an opioid prescription.
171 patients were included in the analysis; 95% patients were white and 85% male. 59% of patients responded to the survey. Seventy-one (42%) received an opioid prescription at discharge. Patients that received a discharge prescription tended to be younger (71 vs 75 years, p=0.005) and more likely to have received opioids while in the hospital (79% vs 45%, p<0.001). Additionally, patients who received opioids at discharge received a significantly greater amount of milligram oral morphine equivalents (OME) while in the hospital (27.76 ±38.91 vs 10.05 ±29.43, p<0.001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated age, estimated blood loss (EBL), and OME per day to be significant inpatient predictors of requiring an outpatient opioid prescription. Open femoral access (27%) was not a predictor of opioid prescription at discharge. A total of 1185 pills were prescribed (29.6 ± 2.06 per patient), but only 208 pills consumed (5.2 ±1.27 per patient). 82% of total pills prescribed were not consumed.
This study evaluates inpatient opioid use and post discharge consumption following EVAR. These data identify key factors associated with receiving an opioid prescription at discharge and demonstrate that patients consume far fewer opioids than prescribed. These findings provide insight as to which patients may not require an outpatient prescription following EVAR, leading to potential practice-changing opioid reduction strategies.