The Association Between Opioid Use and Outcomes in Infants Undergoing Pyloromyotomy

Cory McLaughlin, Anthony I. Squillaro, Shadassa Ourshaliman, Ashley Song, Ashwini Lakshmanan, Giovanni Cucchiaro, Matthew Hall, Rita V. Burke, Lorraine I. Kelley-Quon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the frequency and variation of opioid use across hospitals in infants undergoing pyloromyotomy and to determine the impact of opioid use on postoperative outcomes. Methods: A retrospective cohort study (2005–2015) was conducted by using the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) database, including infants (aged <6 months) with pyloric stenosis who underwent pyloromyotomy. Infants with significant comorbidities were excluded. Opioid use was classified as a patient receiving at least 1 opioid medication during his or her hospital stay and categorized as preoperative, day of surgery, or postoperative (≥1 day after surgery). Outcomes included prolonged hospital length of stay (LOS; ≥3 days) and readmission within 30 days. Findings: Overall, 25,724 infants who underwent pyloromyotomy were analyzed. Opioids were administered to 6865 (26.7%) infants, with 1385 (5.4%) receiving opioids postoperatively. In 2015, there was significant variation in frequency of opioid use by hospital, with 0%–81% of infants within an individual hospital receiving opioids (P < 0.001). Infants only receiving opioids on the day of surgery exhibited decreased odds of prolonged hospital LOS (odds ratio [OR], 0.85; 95% CI, 0.78–0.92). Infants who received an opioid on both the day of surgery and postoperatively exhibited increased odds of a prolonged hospital LOS (OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.33–2.20). Thirty-day readmission was not associated with opioid use (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.93–1.14). Implications: There is national variability in opioid use for infants undergoing pyloromyotomy, and postoperative opioid use is associated with prolonged hospital stay. Nonopioid analgesic protocols may warrant future investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1690-1700
Number of pages11
JournalClinical therapeutics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • infant
  • opioid
  • pyloric stenosis
  • pyloromyotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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