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Does Surgical Intensity Correlate With Opioid Prescribing? Classifying Common Surgical Procedures

  • Surgical intensity, classified as 5 ordinal clusters – low, mid-low, mid, mid-high, and high, is positively associated with initial opioid prescribing and rates of refill.
  • Median amount of opioid prescribed increased as the cluster-order increased: 150 oral morphine equivalents (OME) for low-intensity, 225 OME for mid-intensity, and 300 OME for high-intensity surgeries.
  • Rates of refill increased as surgical intensity also increased, from 17.4% for low, 26.4% for mid, and 48.9% for high-intensity procedures.


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Cho HE, Hu H, Gunaseelan V, Chen J, Englesbe MJ, Chung KC, Waljee JF. Does Surgical Intensity Correlate With Opioid Prescribing? Classifying Common Surgical Procedures. Ann Surg: July 24, 2020. Publish Ahead of Print doi: 10.1097/ SLA.0000000000004299