Understanding Opioid Use by Surgical Approach

Project: Research project

Project Details


We propose studying how surgical approach (robotic, laparoscopic, and open) for three procedures (cholecystectomy, inguinal hernia repair, and ventral/incisional hernia repair) influences opioid use. We have preliminary evidence to suggest that robotic approach to hernia repair results in less pain and subsequently less opioid use than current laparoscopic techniques. While some newly developed opioid prescribing recommendations separate open and minimally invasive approaches, no research studies to date have been powered adequately to investigate differences between laparoscopic and robotic approaches. Our study has the following specific aim: Study Aim: To identify differences in opioid use by general surgery patients for different surgical approaches through a cluster-randomized sample of patients Hypothesis: The mean number of opioid pills used will vary based on surgical approach for many common general surgery procedures. Robotic inguinal and ventral hernia repairs are the fastest growing surgical approach in the U.S. Therefore, this study is significant, because it will provide a set of tailored recommendations for opioid prescribing following robotic surgery. The new recommendations will reduce societal harm due to excess opioids by matching prescribing with use. As the recommendations will be based on patients’ actual use, decreases in prescribing will not affect patient pain outcomes negatively. The study is innovative, because it promotes evidence-based practices by leveraging ongoing quality improvement efforts into prescribing across multiple hospital settings. As the data will be collected in six hospitals with a diverse patient population, recommendations will be generalizable and will be disseminated widely to other hospitals.
Effective start/end date1/1/20 → 12/31/21


  • Intuitive Foundation (Agmt 3/20/20)


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