Reducing Prescribed Opiates
Young Patient Prefers Pain Pump
If you were given a choice between prescription pain medication or no pain medication to avoid pain following a surgery, which would you choose? A non-narcotic solution to pain medicine, ON-Q Pain Relief System from Halyard Health, is portable, non-addictive and improves the overall patient experience without the risk of addiction. Robert Reicher, a college freshman, was excited to learn he could have surgery without taking opioid pain medication.
A Non-Narcotic Solution for Surgical Pain
Robert is a 19-year-old thrower on a college track team who was facing shoulder surgery. The day of his surgery, Howard Robinson, M.D., anesthesiologist, Zanesville Anesthesia Physicians, gave Robert the option of pain medication or using the ON-Q pain pump, for pain relief after surgery. Robert had been through a couple surgeries before so he chose the pain pump because of the zero risk of becoming addicted and not having the side effect of drowsiness he experienced with pain medication for previous surgeries. “Having shoulder surgery was definitely easier than having my appendix or wisdom teeth out. This time, I felt normal while I was recovering.”
How the ON-Q Pain Pump Works
The pain pump has a specially designed catheter, or thin tube, inserted near the nerves of the surgical site by the anesthesiologist before the surgery. The catheter is attached to a small, lightweight balloon-like pump about the size of a tennis ball. It’s portable and clipps to the patient’s clothing or placed in a carrying case that can be worn over the shoulder or around the neck. Automatic and regulated by the anesthesiologist at the time it is inserted, ON-Q drips targeted-nerve relief, blocking pain.
“The pump releases medication every minute and provides exceptional pain relief avoiding opioid use altogether,” said Dr. Robinson. “The pain pump is clinically proven to manage post-operative pain better than narcotics alone with fewer side effects.” Narcotics are typically prescribed to help manage pain after surgery, but the side effects can make patients feel dizzy, drowsy, constipated or nauseated. The pump empties in two to five days, depending on the surgery, and the tube is removed and thrown away by the patient. Because the pain pump is used one time, infections are rare.
Faster Recovery, Less Pain
Samuel Finck, D.O., Genesis orthopedic surgeon, performed Robert’s arthroscopic labral repair. Dr. Finck finds the pain pump works on any age patient and many types of surgeries. “Pain management is a critical element of recovery for all of our surgical patients. Many patients are unaware of alternatives to narcotics for postoperative pain management,” he said. “The ON-Q pain pump enables our clinicians to reduce the reliance on narcotics for treating surgical pain while helping our patients recover faster, with less pain,” he said.
Addressing the Opioid Crisis
Until recently, pain after surgery was primarily treated with narcotics, which poses the risk of opioid addiction. By adding the non-narcotic pain relief pump to a patient’s postsurgical pain treatment, Genesis can help patients better manage their pain and return to normal activities more quickly than when treated with narcotics alone.
Managing the Pain
It’s important to offer patients a variety of options for managing post-surgical pain – and help select the treatment that’s best for them. Some surgeries, like an orthopedic reconstruction, may require limited pain medication However, by offering treatment solutions like ON-Q pain relief pump, the recovery process can be easier and less painful. Surgical patients return to work and/or regular activities more quickly.
Ask your doctor about the best treatment option available for you.