Opioid Reduction Techniques

The use of opioids following surgery is a common concern for patients, parents, and surgeons. Many oral surgery procedures are invasive, requiring soft tissue incisions and removal of bone which can have certain levels of pain for the first 1-3 days following surgery. Careful planning and delicate surgery can help minimize discomfort but there are also other modalities that can be used to help minimize the use of post-op opioids.

Drs. Thoman and Kofford have put together a combination of medicines that can be administered at the time of surgery to help control the immediate postoperative discomfort, thus decreasing the need for postoperative opioid use. This combination of medications includes administration of a newly developed long-acting time-released local anesthetic Exparel, which is applied locally around the surgical site, along with intravenous anti-inflammatory therapy. This technique is designed to decrease the immediate post-op pain during the first 3 days following surgery. Although these medications are very effective, they are not covered by insurance. Therefore, use of this therapy is a separate out-of-pocket cost for the patient.

There are other complications such as alveolar osteitis (dry socket) that are unrelated to post-surgical pain and could certainly lead to discomfort independent of administered medication. This is treated separately by placing medicated gauze in the surgical site which topically decreases the soreness. Our staff will educate you on how to identify different types of symptoms so you know when it is appropriate to call the office

We are always innovating to provide high quality surgical procedures in the most safe and comfortable environment possible. If you have any questions related to this therapy, please do not hesitate in contacting our office to speak with either Drs. Thoman or Kofford or our staff.

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