Endovascular surgery is not protective against new persistent opioid use development compared to open vascular surgery

Vascular. 2022 Aug;30(4):728-738. doi: 10.1177/17085381211024514. Epub 2021 Jun 15.


Objective: Endovascular techniques continue to be increasingly utilized to treat vascular disease, but the effect of these minimally invasive techniques on opioid use following surgery is not known.

Methods: Using Medicare data, we identified opioid-naive patients undergoing vascular procedures between 2009 and 2017. We selected patients ≥65 years old with continuous enrollment 12 months before and 6 months after surgery and had no additional operations. We defined new persistent opioid use (NPOU) as one or more opioid prescription fills both between 4-90 and 91-180 days postoperatively. Multivariable regression was performed for risk adjustment, and frequencies of NPOU were estimated between endovascular and open techniques to compare surgical approach.

Results: A total of 77,767 patients were identified, with 2.6% of all patients developing new persistent use. In addition to the identification of several risk factors for new persistent use, patients undergoing endovascular carotid or vertebral interventions were found to have higher adjusted frequencies of persistent use compared to those undergoing open interventions (3.0% vs. 1.8%, p < 0.001) as did those undergoing endovenous compared to open vein procedures (2.2%, vs. 1.6%, p = 0.019). We found no difference for peripheral vascular or aortic/iliac procedures.

Conclusions: Patients undergoing vascular surgery are at high risk for new persistent use. Undergoing endovascular carotid or venous surgery was associated with an increased risk of NPOU, whereas no differences were found between endovascular and open approaches for peripheral arterial or aortic disease.

Keywords: endovascular; opioids.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
  • Endovascular Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Medicare
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • United States
  • Vascular Diseases* / surgery
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / adverse effects


  • Analgesics, Opioid