Multimodal Postoperative Pain Control Is Effective and Reduces Opioid Use After Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Obes Surg. 2019 Feb;29(2):394-400. doi: 10.1007/s11695-018-3526-z.


Background: Opioids have been the mainstay for postoperative pain relief for many decades. Recently, opioid-related adverse events and death have been linked to postoperative dependency. Multimodal approaches to postoperative pain control may be part of the solution to this health care crisis. The safety and effectiveness of multimodal pain control regimens after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) has not been well studied. The primary aim of our study was to determine if an evidence-based, multimodal pain regimen during hospitalization could decrease the total oral morphine equivalent (TME) use after LRYGB.

Study design: We conducted a retrospective cohort study comparing outcomes prior to the implementation of a multimodal pain protocol (December 2010-December 2012) to those after implementation (April 2013-July 2015). The protocol utilized oral celecoxib and scheduled oral acetaminophen for pain control, with opioids used only as needed for breakthrough pain. Data was extracted from an electronic medical record and an institutionally maintained database of all patients undergoing bariatric surgery at a single center.

Results: Compared to controls, the multimodal pain regimen significantly reduced TME used and maximum pain scores with no change in mean pain scores. Multimodal pain protocol patients had a shorter length of stay with no increase in bleeding complications or marginal ulcer rates.

Conclusions: An opioid-sparing multimodal pain regimen adequately controls pain while reducing TME use. The regimen appears to be safe and was associated with a reduced length of stay in patients undergoing LRYGB.

Keywords: Acetaminophen; Bariatric surgery; Celecoxib; Multimodal pain control; Opioid.

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / administration & dosage
  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
  • Breakthrough Pain / drug therapy
  • Breakthrough Pain / epidemiology
  • Breakthrough Pain / etiology
  • Celecoxib / administration & dosage
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / methods
  • Female
  • Gastric Bypass / adverse effects*
  • Gastric Bypass / methods
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / adverse effects
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / therapy*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Acetaminophen
  • Celecoxib