Anyone contemplating an elective procedure like plastic surgery in Inland Empire, California where I practice or anywhere else needs to realize that while getting the great results they want there is a danger they must avoid – the opioid crisis. Opioid pain medication is like 240-volt electricity. Used properly it can do a lot of good. Used improperly it can kill. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), “the United States is currently seeing the highest overdose death rates ever recorded in the nation’s history. Every day, more than 116 people in the US die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse and addiction to opioids, including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.”
Of course, surgical procedures can greatly improve physical health and plastic surgery can substantially improve your looks and your life. However, painkillers are often needed for a time after these procedures. The ASPS reports that some 2.6 million patients who take opioids for pain after surgery become regular opioid users and up to 670,000 will get addicted. Thankfully, now there’s a better way.
Exparel provides outstanding pain relief without opioids
When performing facial plastic surgery in Inland Empire, California I use Exparel for post-surgical pain relief. It’s a time-release shot of bupivacaine that you receive during your procedure. That way, it’s in place to start blocking the pain you might normally feel when your local anesthetic wears off.
Bupivacaine is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medications needed in a health system. It is not an opioid. There’s no danger of addiction.
Why do I use Exparel instead of relying on opioids?
- Exparel works directly at your surgical site, where you need pain relief most. Opioids affect your entire body including your brain, increasing the chances of addiction.
- Exparel requires only one dose, which your doctor will administer during surgery. You won’t have to worry about when to take it afterwards.
- Exparel relieves pain for the first few days after surgery, when you need it most.
- Exparel is proven in controlled research to reduce the need for opioids.
- Exparel patients lasted longer before needing opioids than those who didn’t receive Exparel.
- Exparel patients required fewer opioids than those who didn’t receive Exparel. That reduces the danger of dependence.
What to Expect with Exparel CONTACT Dr. Machida Inland Empire, CA
Exparel, in Inland Empire and elsewhere, is administered before your procedure is finished. It’s injected into the surgical site, just as a local anesthetic would be. When you wake up after your procedure, you’ll have already received a pain treatment that usually outperforms opioids and can last for up to 72 hours.
Ideally, Exparel will eliminate all post-surgical pain for one to three days. Most of the time it substantially reduces pain, which in turn reduces the need for opioids. Just in case, I usually send my patients home with a prescription for an opioid pain reliever like Norco or Percocet.
The big advantage here is that the less you need an opioid medication to reduce pain, the less likely you are to become dependent on it. Remember, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons report found that 670,000 Americans got addicted to opioids after using them as their primary medication for post-surgical pain. Considering all that we read in the news about the opioid crisis, Exparel can be a game-changer.
Like all medications, Exparel can have some side effects like nausea. Your physician will explain those to you before you decide on your plan for managing pain after your procedure. A growing number of plastic and facial plastic surgeons are using Exparel for all the reasons I mentioned here. If you’d prefer it with your procedure and you’re in Inland Empire, California, you can find me at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario.