CMIRS is one of the few general surgery practices in the country to follow a completely narcotic free post-op care protocol.
How is post-op pain managed?
A patient-centered, individually tailored pain treatment plan is created to improve each patient’s post-surgical experience and reduce pain-related outcomes. Patients are thoroughly educated in the office and once again in the pre-op area on the plan, implementation and expectations of a opioid free recovery.
Why did you create this protocol?
Opioid overuse and abuse are now a leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Research shows that opioid addiction often begins during recovery from surgery. As surgeons, along with our anesthesiologists, we must create a model of care which delivers opioid-sparing or opioid-free analgesia with the goal to reduce post-surgical opioid use.
What is the patient outcome?
The use of nonopioid pain agents is not only proving to be effective in pain control but patients are experiencing a decrease in opioid side-effects that have previously slowed recovery such as constipation, decreased bowel motility, nausea, vomiting and delirium. Patients are excited and prefer a narcotic free recovery over opioid usage.
Any other outcomes from this?
By educating all patients on the issue of opioid addiction, we can proactively help address this national public health epidemic. We are also learning of an association between opioid administration and cancer recurrence in the surgical oncology population. This is likely just the beginning of improved outcomes by this change in strategy.