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Worried about Post-Operative Pain?

Are worries about post-op pain keeping you from taking the next step toward the cosmetic procedure you’ve always wanted?

Most patients recover quickly and with only minimal short-term pain as long as they take their medications as directed. However, there are some exciting new alternatives to pain pills available now too. A couple of years ago, a new innovation in numbing medicine arrived. Exparel® is a liposomal-coated extended release version of traditional numbing medicine, which can be injected at the time of surgery near the surgical area. Its pain-numbing effects can last up to three days. Not only is there steady pain relief, but the need for oral narcotics is greatly reduced. This option is ideal for patients who typically suffer from nausea, other side effects, or allergic reactions to oral pain relievers. The downside is that the injected medication is somewhat expensive, and could easily add $300-$400 to the cost of the procedure.

Another option is the On-Q pain pump. This pain pump delivers a constant supply of numbing medicine to the surgical area for up to 72 hours via a tiny “soaker hose” placed under the skin. It is removed in a few days once the medication is depleted. The cost of the pain pump is around $300-$400.

Both options are definitely worth considering if a patient prefers to limit the amount of narcotics they have to take and do not like the side effects of oral pain meds. They are also great options if a patient knows they have problems with nausea associated with narcotics, and are having certain procedures where preventing nausea is critical. For example, repeated vomiting can tear stitches that are used in surgeries like breast augmentations or tummy tucks. Nausea can also be minimized with the use of sublingual Zofran tablets as well as Scopolamine nausea patches.