PAIN CONTROL WITH MINIMIZING PRESCRIPTION OPIOIDS
We have been using Exparel(liposomal bupivicaine) at South Shore Oral Surgery Oral Surgery since 2019. The goal is to maximize pain control after surgery and also minimize opioid use. Wisdom tooth removal is the most common reason we recommend using Exparel and we are seeing reduced need and use of narcotic prescription medication. Many patients are able to comfortably recover without any narcotics, and the ones who do need a narcotic often take less compared to patients who did not have Exparel.
Millions of people have their wisdom teeth removed every year in the United States. This often results in post-surgical pain which can interrupt a patient’s normal lifestyle. Adequate pain management is one of the most important aspects of the day to day practice in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Since the 1980s, the common approach for postoperative pain control has included prescription opioids. Opioids have a number of undesirable side effects, including dependence. There has been an active effort to reduce the number of opioids prescribed, but also to maintain adequate pain control.
At South Shore Oral Surgery we are striving to offer non-narcotic alternatives for pain management. One of the newer drugs helping us achieve this is Exparel. It’s a slow-release local anesthetic that helps provide adequate pain control for up to three days after a procedure. It can help minimize opioid use.
Exparel is FDA approved for oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures. We have been using it at South Shore Oral Surgery and are seeing excellent results.
In case you were wondering there are some scientific publications showing positive results in the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery. One involved studying Exparel in wisdom teeth surgery. Versus a placebo, patients who received Exparel had less postoperative pain at 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours. Another study looked at Exparel to reduce pain after surgeries where multiple dental implants were placed. It concluded patients who received Exparel had less pain and reduced amounts of opioids used.
In summary, this amazing new long lasting local anesthetic can help reduce the need for opioids and still manage postop discomfort effectively! We are using it on a regular basis at South Shore Oral Surgery and seeing great results!