Opioids (a strong pain medication) are overprescribed after surgical procedures. This practice can lead to addiction and spread into the community. The statistics are staggering—about one in 20 patients prescribed opioids will become a chronic user. Given the risks of opioids, Dr. Geller has implemented effective opioid sparing surgery. Patients are first advised to use common over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. If that isn't sufficient, for breakthrough pain, a small prescription for opioids is provided.
The benefits of opioid sparing pain management include eliminating the risk of dependency and avoiding opioid side effects, such as nausea, constipation, sluggishness and dizziness. Patients who have used an opioid sparing strategy have been able to minimize or eliminate opioid use after surgery, while reporting high satisfaction and pain control. In addition, patients didn't experience any increase postoperative complications.
These reports of patient satisfaction demonstrate the effectiveness of reducing—and even eliminating—opioids after discharge from minor surgical procedures. Talk to Dr. Geller further about your pain management plan.