Large Variation in International Prescribing Rates of Opioids After Robotic Prostatectomy

Emily C. Hacker, Maria M. Pere, Michelle Yu, Zeynep G. Gul, Bruce L. Jacobs, Benjamin J. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare international opioid prescribing patterns for patients undergoing robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy. To our knowledge, this is the first study to assess international opioid prescribing trends among urologists. Methods: An anonymous Web-based survey assessing the frequency and quantity of opioid prescriptions for robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy was designed using Qualtrics software. The survey was distributed to urologists internationally via Twitter and email in early 2021. Prescribing patterns were analyzed based on country of practice in three groups: United States, Canada, and all other countries. Results: 160 participants from 26 countries completed the survey including the United States (51%), Greece (19%), Canada (9%), Israel (3.1%). The percentage of providers prescribing post-discharge opioids significantly differed between Canada, the United States, and other countries (86%, 63%, and 11%, respectively, P <.0001). There was a significant difference between years of experience in those who provide opioids compared to those who do not (8 years vs 5 years, P = .0004). The average morphine milligram equivalents (MME) provided in those who did prescribe opioids was greatest in the United States but was not significantly different between groups (mean MME: United States 58 mg, Canada 46 mg, all others 54 mg; P = .63). Attending physicians prescribed more MME than trainees (residents, fellows) on average (attending mean MME = 75 mg, trainee mean MME = 40 mg, P = .017). Conclusion: Opioid prescriptions after robotic assisted prostatectomy are common in North America and used sparingly in the rest of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-99
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Jan 2022


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