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Exparel: Controlling Postoperative Cosmetic Surgery Pain in Raleigh

Posted November 06, 2014 in Plastic Surgery

One of the biggest fear patients have about undergoing cosmetic surgery is pain. Fortunately, the surgeons at Specialists in Plastic Surgery, PA are now seeing a large difference in pain control after using Exparel. This numbing agent lasts up to 3 days and has become increasingly popular since it’s FDA-approval in 2011. We routinely use Exparel for tummy tucks, mommy makeovers, and breast augmentation.

For some time surgeons only had narcotic medication and shorter-acting numbing medication to relieve pain. Many of the narcotic medications when taken in large quantity were having effects such as nausea, drowsiness, constipation, etc. What we have found is the key to minimizing these issues is to reduce the pain at the time of surgery so there is less need for narcotic medication. This is where Exparel (liposomal bupivicaine) comes into play and has been a game changer in pain control. Exparel contains a common local anesthetic, bupivicaine, that is stored in a slow-releasing “liposome.” A single dose has provided our patients with pain reduction (almost no pain at times) for up to 3 days. 

An additional benefit we see in our patients is they can be active earlier, take less pain medication, and overall feel much better following surgery. Sometimes patients feel so well that they can overdo it, so we still caution limited activity following the surgery.