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Cautious Use of Opioids

By Dr. Sutton Graham on May 11, 2018


Our nation is experiencing a surge in deaths caused by opioid type narcotic abuse.  Thousands of users are dying of overdosages and countless more suffer from addiction, straining treatment programs.  These facts hae been in the news for the last two years, however we have been cautious to help our patients properly manage their narcotic pain medication for many years. 

We strive to provide each patient sufficient medication to treat expected post-operative pain effectively.  We provide non-narcotic complementary medications (COX2 inhibitors, anxiety reduction meds, muscle relaxants) that mean less opioids will be needed.  We use long-acting local anesthetics within the tissues at the surgical site so that less pain occurrs post-operatively.  We encourage gradual resumption of normal household activities and plenty of walking.  Some surgeons or hospitals have begun describing this series of treatments as ERS (enhanced recovery systems).  We consider it standard care for our patients.

Also, we encourage patients to contact us for additional medications if they have needed more than initially provided (although federal regulations now prohibit phoning-in narcotic prescriptions).

Using these methods, our patients experience comfort and minimized post-op pain, early return to function and high satisfaction. 

For anyone who has a family member or knows of anyone else that need help with medication abuse, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers help at 1-800-662-4357 or online at:  www.samhsa.gov

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"I am very pleased with Dr. Graham and his staff! They have been incredibly kind and helpful throughout my surgery. The post-op care has also been top notch! They always respond to my concerns right away, and I always feel well cared for, and listened to."

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