American Society for Enhanced Recovery and Perioperative Quality Initiative Joint Consensus Statement on Perioperative Opioid Minimization in Opioid-Naïve Patients

Anesth Analg. 2019 Aug;129(2):567-577. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000004194.


Surgical care episodes place opioid-naïve patients at risk for transitioning to new persistent postoperative opioid use. With one of the central principles being the application of multimodal pain interventions to reduce the reliance on opioid-based medications, enhanced recovery pathways provide a framework that decreases perioperative opioid use. The fourth Perioperative Quality Initiative brought together a group of international experts representing anesthesiology, surgery, and nursing with the objective of providing consensus recommendations on this important topic. Fourth Perioperative Quality Initiative was a consensus-building conference designed around a modified Delphi process in which the group alternately convened for plenary discussion sessions in between small group discussions. The process included several iterative steps including a literature review of the topics, building consensus around the important questions related to the topic, and sequential steps of content building and refinement until agreement was achieved and a consensus document was produced. During the fourth Perioperative Quality Initiative conference and thereafter as a writing group, reference applicability to the topic was discussed in any area where there was disagreement. For this manuscript, the questions answered included (1) What are the potential strategies for preventing persistent postoperative opioid use? (2) Is opioid-free anesthesia and analgesia feasible and appropriate for routine operations? and (3) Is opioid-free (intraoperative) anesthesia associated with equivalent or superior outcomes compared to an opioid minimization in the perioperative period? We will discuss the relevant literature for each questions, emphasize what we do not know, and prioritize the areas for future research.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Practice Guideline
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Pain Management / adverse effects
  • Pain Management / standards*
  • Pain, Postoperative / diagnosis
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Pain, Postoperative / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Care / standards*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Analgesics, Opioid