Examining Reduced Opioid Prescriptions after Gynecologic Laparoscopy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Kari M. Plewniak, Emily Kintzer, Ruth Eisenberg, Melissa Fazzari, Ja Hyun Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Study Objective: To examine whether prescribing 5 tablets, as opposed to 10 tablets, of 5-mg oxycodone adequately treats pain after gynecologic laparoscopy. Design: Single-blinded randomized trial. Setting: Academically affiliated ambulatory surgery center. Patients: One hundred twenty women scheduled to undergo minor gynecologic laparoscopy. Interventions: Patients scheduled for ambulatory gynecologic laparoscopy were allocated to the standard tablet or low-tablet number prescription groups (10 tablets or 5 tablets of 5-mg oxycodone). The patients also received prescriptions for acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Measurements and Main Results: Telephone surveys were conducted on postoperative days 1 and 7 to assess medication use and pain. The primary outcome was the number of oxycodone tablets used by days 1 and 7. Prespecified secondary outcomes included unscheduled patient contacts and pain scores. With N = 50 in each group and assuming standardized effect sizes, the study was powered to detect a 0.6 difference or greater when comparing the primary outcome between the groups. Forty-five and 47 patients in the 5-tablet and 10-tablet groups, respectively, completed the day-7 survey. The median number of oxycodone tablets taken by day 7 was 2.0 (interquartile range 0.0, 4.0) in the 5-tablet group and 2.5 (interquartile range 0.0, 5.0) in the 10-tablet group (p =.36). Most of the patients in both groups reported taking 3 oxycodone tablets or fewer by day 7. There were no significant differences in unscheduled patient contacts, need for additional prescriptions, or pain scores. There were significantly fewer unused tablets in the 5-tablet group by day 7. Conclusion: Prescribing 5 tablets of 5-mg oxycodone, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen is likely sufficient for most patients after minor laparoscopic surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-373
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Ambulatory
  • Analgesia
  • Pain
  • Postoperative
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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