The RAQET Study: the Effect of Eating a Popsicle Directly After Bariatric Surgery on the Quality of Patient Recovery; a Randomised Controlled Trial

Sjaak Pouwels*, Pieter S. Stepaniak, Marc P. Buise, R. Arthur Bouwman, Simon W. Nienhuijs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Quality of recovery could be influenced positively if there is less postoperative sore throat (POST). Eating a popsicle might attenuate this sore throat. Especially for bariatric surgery, early recovery is important. Adding popsicles to the postoperative protocol could be beneficial. Our hypothesis is that offering a popsicle in the recovery room to patients after bariatric surgery will decrease POST and will increase quality of postoperative recovery. Patients undergoing elective bariatric surgery, between the 23 February 2015 and 3 April, were randomised to either the popsicle group or control group. Primary endpoint was the incidence of POST and secondly if a reduction in POST influences quality of recovery at the first day postoperative measured with the Bariatric Quality Of Recovery (BQoR) questionnaire. One hundred and thirty-three patients were assessed for eligibility. For the final analysis, 44 patients in the intervention and 65 in the control group were available. Eating a popsicle after bariatric surgery had no significant effect on the incidence of POST. Significant effects (in favour of the popsicle group) were seen in muscle pain score (p = 0.047) and sore mouth score (p = 0.012). Popsicle intragroup analysis revealed that eating the whole popsicle (compared to partially eating the popsicle) has positive effects on nausea (p = 0.059), feeling cold (p = 0.008), and mean total comfort score (p = 0.011). Of the patients who became nauseous and/or had to vomit because of the popsicle, n = 4 had more severe pain (p = 0.04) and the mean pain score was higher (p = 0.09). The present study demonstrates that offering a popsicle early during recovery after bariatric surgery is feasible without adverse effects, although eating popsicle did not reduce postoperative sore throat. There are possible beneficial effects, such as reduced muscle pains and less sore mouth, that may enhance the quality of recovery. More research is necessary to further substantiate the effect of eating popsicles on the quality of recovery in this patient population.Trial Registration: Registration n\Address="
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalIndian Journal of Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Popsicle
  • Quality of recovery
  • Postoperative sore throat
  • CARE

Cite this