Ketorolac Use Shortens Hospital Length of Stay After Bariatric Surgery: a Single-Center 5-Year Experience

Kamyar Hariri, Elizabeth Hechenbleikner, Matthew Dong, Subhash U. Kini, Gustavo Fernandez-Ranvier, Daniel M. Herron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction: There has been a recent increased interest in the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ketorolac for post-operative pain management to minimize opioid use and decrease hospital length of stay (LOS). Although NSAID use has been controversial following bariatric surgery due to anecdotal concerns for increased gastric bleeding, the impact of ketorolac as an adjunct to opioids needs further investigation on LOS and post-operative complications like bleeding. Objective: This study aims to evaluate the impact of post-operative ketorolac use on opioid consumption, LOS, and bleeding risk after bariatric surgery. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed a prospectively maintained database of all bariatric surgery patients who either underwent sleeve gastrectomy (SG) or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB) at a tertiary center between 2011 and 2015. Patients were stratified into 2 groups based on post-operative pain control regimen as follows: (1) ketorolac and opioids and (2) opioids alone. Results: A total of 1555 patients were identified who underwent either SG (n = 1255) or RYGB (n = 300). The overall LOS was 1.81 ±.059 days for ketorolac-opioid patients vs. 2.09 ±.065 days for opioid-only patients (P < 0.001). Furthermore, the risk of post-operative bleeding was similar between the two groups (P = 0.097). Conclusion: Patients who received ketorolac as an adjunct to opioids had a significantly shorter LOS compared to opioid-only patients. Additionally, ketorolac use was not associated with increased risk of post-operative bleeding complications. Therefore, if not contraindicated, ketorolac should be considered routinely for post-operative pain control among bariatric surgery patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2360-2366
Number of pages7
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2019


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Bleeding
  • Ketorolac
  • Length of stay
  • Opioids


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