Predictors of opioid-free discharge after laparoscopic cholecystectomy


      • Opioid free-discharge is relatively infrequent after laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
      • Non-elective cholecystectomy and older age were associated with opioid-free discharge.
      • Surgical teams should pay particular attention to patient and procedural factors when prescribing opioids.



      Post-discharge opioid requirement after laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is minimal, yet postoperative opioid prescriptions vary and opioid-free discharges are rare.

      Study Design

      Adult patients who underwent LC from 01/2019-12/2019 were reviewed. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to identify predictors of opioid-free discharge.


      Of 393 included patients, 330 were discharged with opioids (median 12 oxycodone 5 mg pills) and 63 were discharged without opioids. One opioid-free discharge patient called for a prescription. Older age (OR = 1.02, 95% CI = 1.002–1.041) and non-elective procedure (OR = 0.35, 95% CI = 0.2291–0.8521) were independent predictors of opioid-free discharge.


      Significant opportunities for opioid reduction or elimination after discharge from LC exist. Non-elective procedure and older age are predictors of opioid-free discharge, and should be considered when individualizing prescription quantities as surgeons strive to reduce or eliminate opioid overprescription.

      Graphical abstract


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