Prevalence of preoperative opioid use and characteristics associated with opioid use among patients presenting for surgery

Preoperative opioid use was reported in about 23% of patients undergoing surgery, according to new research. The cross-sectional, observational study assessed the prevalence of preoperative opioid use among 34,186 individuals being operated on at a tertiary care academic medical center.

Preoperative opioid use was reported in about 23% of patients undergoing surgery, according to new research. The cross-sectional, observational study assessed the prevalence of preoperative opioid use among 34,186 individuals being operated on at a tertiary care academic medical center. Hydrocodone bitartrate, tramadol hydrochloride, and oxycodone hydrochloride were the most common opioids used. Independent associations with preoperative opioid use included being aged 31–40 years, use of tobacco, illicit drug use, higher pain severity, depression, and having a greater number of medical comorbidities. The types of procedures where preoperative opioid use was most common were orthopedic and neurosurgical spinal procedures, while preoperative opioid use was least common among individuals having thoracic procedures. "These data provide important insights into this complicated patient population that would appear to help guide future preoperative optimization and perioperative opioid-weaning interventions," the authors write.