Current State of Perioperative Buprenorphine Management-A National Provider Survey

Document Type


Publication Date



Anesthesiology & Pain Management

Journal Title

Journal of addiction medicine


OBJECTIVES: Buprenorphine maintenance for opioid use disorder (OUD) can present potential challenges for acute postoperative pain management. Provider practice and consistency of buprenorphine management strategies within institutions are unknown. This study aims to identify how providers nationwide manage patients on buprenorphine when they present for elective surgery. METHODS: A prospective survey of anesthesiologists was performed nationwide between November 2021 and March 2022. Survey respondents were selected from academic institutions identified using public databases and were also distributed to online social media platforms where members are required to verify medical licensure and hospital affiliation. Survey results were calculated and interpreted as the percentage rate of response. RESULTS: Survey invitations were sent to 190 institutions and returned 54 responses (28% response rate). An additional 12 completed surveys were obtained from online social media distribution resulting in 66 responses. Only 36% of respondents reported an established protocol for perioperative management of buprenorphine at their institution. Regarding consistency of buprenorphine management within institutions, the majority of respondents endorsed buprenorphine continuation without dose reduction in procedures where minimal pain was anticipated. However, there was a large discrepancy in buprenorphine management for surgeries with moderate-severe pain. Perioperative dosing frequency of buprenorphine was also inconsistent. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of institutions surveyed do not have an established protocol for perioperative buprenorphine management. In addition, there is provider variability in buprenorphine dosing for procedures with moderate-severe pain. This study highlights the need for dissemination of consensus guidelines for buprenorphine management.


Yussr Ibrahim, MD- Resident