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Preperitoneal Bupivacaine Infiltration Reduces Postoperative Opioid Consumption, Acute Pain, and Chronic Postsurgical Pain After Bariatric Surgery: a Randomized Controlled Trial



A multimodal pain treatment including local anesthetics is advised for perioperative analgesia in bariatric surgery. Due to obesity, bariatric surgery patients are at risk of respiratory complications. Opioid consumption is an important risk factor for hypoventilation. Furthermore, acute postoperative pain is an important risk factor for chronic postsurgical pain. In this study, we aimed to evaluate whether preperitoneal anesthesia with bupivacaine would reduce pain and opioid consumption after bariatric surgery.


One hundred adults undergoing laparoscopic bariatric surgery were randomized to receive either preperitoneal bupivacaine 0.5% or normal saline before incision. Postoperative opioid consumption, postoperative pain, and postoperative recovery parameters were assessed for the first 24 h after surgery. One year after surgery, chronic postsurgical pain and influence of pain on daily living were evaluated.


Postoperative opioid consumption during the first hour after surgery was 2.8 ± 3.0 mg in the bupivacaine group, whereas in the control group, it was 4.4 ± 3.4 mg (p = 0.01). Pain scores were significantly reduced in this first hour at rest and at 6 h during mobilization on the ward. One year after surgery, the incidence of chronic postsurgical pain was 13% in the bupivacaine group versus 40% in the placebo group.


This study shows that preperitoneal local anesthesia with bupivacaine results in a reduction in opioid consumption and postoperative pain and seems to lower the incidence rate of chronic postsurgical pain after laparoscopic bariatric surgery.

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We thank our colleagues from the Department of Anesthesia and Surgery for their assistance in carrying out this study. We thank Bram Maatman for assisting us in obtaining the 1-year results of our study. We thank Lian Roovers for helping with the statistical analysis of this study.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Saskia L Boerboom.

Ethics declarations

This manuscript adheres to the CONSORT guidelines [15]. This trial has been registered in the European Clinical Trials Database, number 2012-002618-38 and has been approved by both the national and local ethics committee (NL40740.091.12).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Statement

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Additional information

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Boerboom, S.L., de Haes, A., vd Wetering, L. et al. Preperitoneal Bupivacaine Infiltration Reduces Postoperative Opioid Consumption, Acute Pain, and Chronic Postsurgical Pain After Bariatric Surgery: a Randomized Controlled Trial. OBES SURG 28, 3102–3110 (2018).

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  • Local anesthesia
  • Bupivacaine
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Postoperative pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Acute pain