Effectiveness of Bariatric Surgery Targeting Opioid Prescriptions (BSTOP) protocol on postoperative pain control

Rie Seu, Xavier Pereira, Pavel Goriacko, Vicken Yaghdjian, Daniel Appiah, Erin Moran-Atkin, Diego Camacho, Jinu Kim, Jenny Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Surgical pain management is a critical component in the success of bariatric procedures. With the opioid epidemic, there have been increased efforts to decrease opioid use. In 2019, the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program developed the BSTOP protocol, a multimodal perioperative pain management regimen to minimize opioid use. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the BSTOP protocol on patients’ need for opioid medications during their perioperative care. Methods: This is a single-institution prospective cohort study on patients who underwent bariatric surgery from 10/2019 to 5/2021. Data was collected on morphine equivalent dose of opioids during different stages of inpatient and outpatient care. BSTOP was implemented on 7/2020. Primary outcomes were total inpatient and outpatient opioid use as well as hospital length of hospital stay (LOS). Gabapentin was removed from the protocol between 10/20/2020 and 12/31/2020 due to side effects; it was re-implemented on 1/1/2021 due to observed spikes in opioid use during its absence. Results: 1264 patients who had bariatric surgery between 10/2019 and 5/2021 were included in the study, with 409 patients before (pre-BSTOP) and 855 patients after BSTOP implementation. There was a 36% reduction in total inpatient opiate use and a 57% reduction in total outpatient opiate use. LOS also significantly decreased, from 1.53 to 1.28 days. 179 patients received BSTOP without gabapentin. These patients used more opioids in the post-anesthesia care unit and on the inpatient floors compared to pre-BSTOP and BSTOP with gabapentin patients. With total inpatient and outpatient opioid use, patients on BSTOP without gabapentin used fewer opioids than those pre-BSTOP. However, those on BSTOP without gabapentin used more opioids than those with gabapentin. Conclusion: The BSTOP protocol significantly reduced inpatient and outpatient opioid use as well as LOS. Gabapentin is a crucial component of the BSTOP protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4902-4909
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Bariatric surgery
  • ERAS
  • Enhanced recovery after surgery
  • Obesity
  • Opioid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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