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Large Variation in International Prescribing Rates of Opioids After Robotic Prostatectomy

November 16, 2021

Several urology experts, including UPMC Department of Urology physicians Benjamin J. Davies, MD, Bruce L. Jacobs, MD, MPH, and Michelle Yu, MD, collaborated to conduct a study comparing international opioid prescribing patterns for patients undergoing robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP).

This is believed to be the first study to assess international opioid prescribing trends among urologists.

To assess the frequency and quantity of opioid prescriptions for RALP, an anonymous web-based survey was designed and distributed to urologists internationally. Prescribing patterns were analyzed based on country of practice in three groups: United States, Canada, and all other countries.

According to the survey, which yielded 160 participants from 26 countries including the United States, Greece, Canada, and Israel, the percentage of providers prescribing post-discharge opioids significantly differed between Canada, the United States, and other countries. There was also a significant decrease between years of experience in those who provide opioids compared to those who do not.

The study concluded that opioid prescriptions after robotic assisted prostatectomy are common in North America and used sparingly in the rest of the world.

Read more about the study here.


Hacker EC, Pere MM, Yu M, Gul ZG, Jacobs BL, Davies BJ. Large Variation in International Prescribing Rates of Opioids After Robotic Prostatectomy. Urology. 2021 Oct 19:S0090-4295(21)00939-0. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2021.10.002. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34678308.

Other study authors include:

  • Emily C. Hacker
  • Maria M. Pere
  • Zeynep G. Gul