A study described by Medscape found that 6% of elective surgery patients used opioids for 90 days after their procedure.

The finding indicates that prolonged opioid use may be the most common complication after elective surgery, Chad M. Brummett, MD, from the Division of Pain Medicine in the University of Michigan Medical School Medical School Department of Anesthesiology, Ann Arbor, and colleagues report in an article published online today in JAMA Surgery.

The investigators also determined that the rates of new persistent opioid use did not differ among patients who underwent minor vs major surgical procedures, “suggesting that prolonged opioid use is not entirely due to surgical pain,” they write. However, they note that patients with chronic pain and certain lifestyle and behavioral health conditions before the operations had a higher rate of persistent prescriptions after surgery.

Read more at www.medscape.com