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Thompson Health Decreases Opiate Use with Innovative Surgical Technology

Patients who undergo surgical procedures typically experience acute post-operative pain and require a regimen for pain management. Commonly, opiates are prescribed as the main component of a pain management regimen but the increasingly severe opioid crisis has compelled surgeons to investigate other avenues of pain management. At Thompson Health, four general surgeons have committed to significantly limiting the number of patients prescribed opioids for post-operative pain control.

The doctors employed a unique surgical approach for one of their most common surgeries, hernia repair. Instead of open surgery, they perform less invasive, robotic-assisted hernia repair, and developed a novel pre- and post-operative non-opiate based pain control regimen. In addition, they found prescribing post-operative opiates to be administratively burdensome. Instead they prescribed an alternative pain control regimen of over-the-counter acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

As a result of this novel surgical process, 95 percent of these patients are not receiving opioids. There have been no complaints from patients about this alternative treatment and patients return to work faster and experience fewer complications.

For more information, contact Joseph A. Talarico, MD, FACS, General Surgeon and Director, SRC Center of Excellence in Hernia, Thompson Health at (585) 398-8363, or at Joseph.Talarico@ThompsonHealth.org.