One of the most common concerns about surgery is pain. How bad will it be? When will I feel it? How long will it last? This can all vary by the type of procedure, differences among patients and the use of various pain management strategies. Numbing medications (ie local anesthetics) are administered in the surgical areas at the time of surgery. This is done whether the surgery is performed awake or asleep. It typically means patients make it through the surgery and into the post-op period without any significant pain. However, this medication will wear off within a few hours.Traditional pain management from here on generally consists of local measures (ie cold, heat, etc), over the counter medications (ie tylenol and ibuprofen), prescription medications (ie narcotics).
Exparel is a new option for post-operative pain management. It is a sustained release formulation of local anesthetic that offers significant reduction in perceived pain at the surgical site for the first 48–72 hours after surgery, which is when you need it most. Exparel also serves as part of an opioid minimizing or even opioid avoiding protocol. While it may not completely eliminate pain, it can significantly reduce the need for narcotic prescription medications. You can read more about this medication and its benefits by clicking the button below.