Opioid Use After Laparoscopic Surgery for Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain

J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2022 Dec;29(12):1344-1351. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2022.09.013. Epub 2022 Sep 23.


Study objective: The primary objective was to quantify postoperative opioid use after laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis or pelvic pain. The secondary objective was to identify patient characteristics associated with greater postoperative opioid requirements.

Design: Prospective, survey-based study in which subjects completed 1 preoperative and 7 postoperative surveys within 28 days of surgery regarding medication usage and pain control.

Setting: Tertiary care, academic center.

Patients: A total of 100 women with endometriosis or pelvic pain.

Interventions: Laparoscopic same-day discharge surgery by fellowship-trained minimally invasive gynecologists.

Measurements and main results: A total of 100 patients were recruited and 8 excluded, for a final sample size of 92 patients. All patients completed the preoperative survey. Postoperative response rates ranged from 70.7% to 80%. The mean number of pills (5 mg oxycodone tablets) taken by day 28 was 6.8. The average number of pills prescribed was 10.2, with a minimum of 4 (n = 1) and maximum of 20 (n = 3). Previous laparoscopy for pelvic pain was associated with a significant increase in postoperative narcotic use (8.2 vs 5.6; p = .044). Hysterectomy was the only surgical procedure associated with a significant increase in postoperative narcotic use (9.7 vs 5.4; p = .013). There were no difference in number of pills taken by presence of deep endometriosis or pathology-confirmed endometriosis (all p >.36). There was a trend of greater opioid use in patients with diagnoses of self-reported chronic pelvic pain, anxiety, and depression (7.9 vs 5.7, p = .051; 7.7 vs 5.2, p = .155; 8.1 vs 5.6, p = .118).

Conclusion: Most patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis and pelvic pain had a lower postoperative opioid requirement than prescribed, suggesting surgeons can prescribe fewer postoperative narcotics in this population. Patients with a previous surgery for pelvic pain, self-reported chronic pelvic pain syndrome, anxiety, and depression may represent a subset of patients with increased postoperative opioid requirements.

Keywords: Chronic pelvic pain; Endometriosis; Gynecologic surgery; Opioids; Postoperative pain.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Endometriosis* / complications
  • Endometriosis* / drug therapy
  • Endometriosis* / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy* / methods
  • Opioid-Related Disorders*
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Pelvic Pain / drug therapy
  • Pelvic Pain / etiology
  • Pelvic Pain / surgery
  • Prospective Studies


  • Analgesics, Opioid