Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Post-operative pain management is one of the most difficult aspects of spine surgery. Pain will be present following any surgical procedure as the body begins to heal itself again. Surgeons cannot completely prevent pain after surgery – the best they can do is attempt to mitigate the pain using a variety of methods.
A new innovation recently released by Pacira Pharmaceuticals aims to keep post-op patient pain at an all-time low. The pain management tool is called EXPAREL, and it is a bupivacaine liposome injection. Early reports from surgeons using EXPAREL say that it provides up to 72 hours of complete pain relief for patients recovering from surgery.
EXPAREL is administered directly following a spine surgery. When introduced into the body is releases bupivacaine in a controlled fashion and can relieve patient pain for up to 72 hours. These 72 hours following surgery are absolutely crucial as it’s in the time that the patient wakes up and the anesthetic begins to wear off. This is generally the toughest time for patients in dealing with their post-operative pain.
While EXPAREL is relatively new it already has an FDA approval and several positive clinical studies to back it up. In addition it is potentially cost saving for both patient and surgeon.
It certainly appears to be a win-win for everyone involved. However, it is supremely important that surgeons learn and implement the proper technique for the EXPAREL injection.