Reducing opioids during surgery while reducing pain

Reducing opioids during surgery while reducing pain

Tulsa, Okla. — More and more hospitals are using a protocol called Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) to help minimize the use of opioid narcotic painkillers during and after surgery.

FOX23 Anchor Shae Rozzi went inside Hillcrest Medical Center in midtown Tulsa and learned this approach to surgery is leading to patients recovering faster, going home sooner and reducing medical costs.

The ERAS approach includes using nerve blockers and a combination of less powerful medications than opioids to help prevent the pain before it starts.

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Colorectal Surgeon Matt Wilson says with ERAS, patients are less groggy and are able to get up and move around as well as eat solid foods much faster after surgery. He also says this helps combat the opioid epidemic where it can often start, with surgery.

Paula Duncan of Tulsa, had a cancerous blockage surgically removed from her colon.

She says she felt minimal pain after surgery and recovered by alternating between Tylenol and Advil.

In the Tulsa area, St. Francis and St. John Ascension also use the ERAS approach in different types of surgery.

See our special report Monday at 5 on FOX23 News.