Does opioid use after outpatient surgery drive adverse events? — 3 study insights

Opioid use following outpatient surgery isn't a significant driver of postoperative adverse events, according to a study published in The American Journal of Surgery.

Researchers identified opioid use within 48 hours of 1,730 outpatient surgeries that took place from 2012 to 2014, then determined how opioid exposure affected the risk of adverse events occurring up to 30 days postoperatively.

Here's what you should know:

1. Of the 1,730 cases, 36 percent involved postoperative opioid use and 12 percent had an adverse event.

2. After controlling for relevant covariates, researchers found no significant association between outpatient surgery and higher rates of adverse events.

3. However, procedure relative value units were associated with higher risk of postoperative adverse events.

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