7 Scopus citations


Objective: Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) with a pre-emptive pain management program has been shown to decrease opioid prescriptions after thoracic surgery. We sought to determine which patient or procedural factors were associated with the need for prescription opioid medications after thoracic surgical procedures. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of a postoperative pain survey at the time of follow-up in combination with procedural and patient characteristic data. We then performed univariate and multivariate logistic regression to determine factors associated with prescription opioids use. Results: Two hundred twenty-eight patients completed questionnaires at a median of 37 days after surgery. Most patients received minimally invasive surgery (n = 213, 93%) with the 2 most common types of operations being foregut (n = 92, 40%) and pulmonary resection (n = 80, 35%). Thirty-nine percent of patients (n = 89) were taking chronic pain medications preoperatively, with 15% on chronic opioids medication (n = 33). After surgery, 166 patients (72%) did not take opioids at home. Multivariate analysis showed any chronic opioid medications before surgery (odds ratio, 28.8; 95% confidence interval, 9.13-90.8, P <.001) were associated with opioid use postoperatively. In contrast, increase in age was associated with a decrease in opioid use (odds ratio, 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.93-0.99, P =.01). Conclusions: ERAS with pre-emptive pain management was associated with patients avoiding opioid prescriptions during recovery. The patient factor of preoperative opioid pain medication(s) and younger age is a significant factor for the patient needing opioids at home after surgery instead of procedural factors. Patient characteristics should be considered when tailoring the patient's pain management after thoracic surgical procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-186
Number of pages14
JournalJTCVS Open
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • enhanced recovery after surgery
  • minimally invasive thoracic surgery
  • opioid medication
  • postoperative pain control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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