Female Smokers Have Increased Postoperative Narcotic Requirements

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This study investigated the influence of tobacco use on postoperative narcotic requirements of female patients following pelvic surgery. The history of tobacco use was taken by telephone survey, and the amount of postoperative narcotic used was obtained from a retrospective review of the patients’ hospital charts. Postoperative narcotic use for patients who never smoked was 10.9 mg/12 hr (n = 83, S.E. = 0.5), for former smokers was 13.0 mg/12 hr (n = 33, S.E. = 0.8) and for current smokers was 13.1 mg/12 hr (n = 53, S.E. = 0.7). Patients who never smoked used significantly less narcotic than former smokers (p =.02) or current smokers (p =.007). There was no difference between current and former smokers. Patients who have smoked required more narcotic for postoperative pain control. This effect was equally strong for former as for current smokers.