Increase in Opioid Use Seen in Chronic Opioid Users Following Bariatric Surgery

A study in the October 2 issue of JAMA found that patients who took chronic opioids for noncancer pain and who underwent bariatric surgery exhibited greater chronic use of opioids after surgery compared with before. Researchers had expected that weight loss after bariatric surgery would result in reduced pain and opioid use among patients with chronic pain. However, patients with and without preoperative chronic pain, depression diagnoses, or both had similar increases in postoperative chronic opioid use after surgery as those without chronic pain or depression. One possible explanation is that some patients likely had pain unresponsive to weight loss but potentially responsive to opioids. The findings suggest the need for proactive management of chronic pain in these patients after surgery. Read more here.

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