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ASCs and the Fight Against Opioid Misuse

Opioid misuse has become an alarming public health crisis in recent years. While these drugs may relieve acute and chronic pain, their potential for addiction and overdose is concerning. Ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) are on the frontline of this battle, rethinking pain management strategies to ensure patient safety without compromising care quality. Queens Surgical Center (QSC) is committed to promoting awareness of the opioid crisis and supporting non-opioid alternatives for postoperative pain management.

The Opioid Crisis and Its Impact on Pain Management

The opioid epidemic has profoundly affected medical procedures and postoperative care. Surgeons and ASCs are reconsidering traditional pain management approaches to avoid potential pitfalls associated with opioid misuse. Prioritizing patient safety and satisfaction, ASCs are adopting evidence-based practices that minimize opioid use while effectively managing pain. The impact of this crisis has been eye-opening, highlighting the need for a multidisciplinary approach to pain management.

Understanding the Magnitude of the Problem

As mentioned earlier, the opioid crisis is a national public health emergency. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 1999-2021, nearly 645,000 people died from an overdose involving an opioid. Additionally, over 200 Americans died daily from an opioid overdose in 2021. The crisis has caused a devastating loss of life, a significant economic burden, and disruption to families and communities. ASCs are taking proactive steps to address this issue by implementing non-opioid alternatives for pain management.

Exploring Non-Opioid Alternatives

In light of the opioid crisis, ASCs are exploring and embracing non-opioid alternatives for postoperative pain management. These alternatives offer a practical and safer solution, reducing the risk of opioid misuse and, in many cases, improving overall patient satisfaction. The benefits of non-opioid alternatives extend beyond avoiding addiction and overdose. They also promote faster recovery, reduce the risk of side effects, and offer a more comprehensive approach to pain management. The following are some commonly used non-opioid pain management techniques:

  • NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)
  • Local anesthetics
  • Physical therapies
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Acupuncture

The Surgeon’s Role in Championing Non-opioid Solutions

Adopting non-opioid alternatives requires a team effort, with surgeons playing a crucial role in promoting and implementing these techniques. At QSC, our surgeons are committed to educating patients about the potential risks of opioid misuse and setting realistic expectations for pain management. By involving patients in their care plans and offering personalized non-opioid options, we can better address their pain while minimizing the risk of opioid misuse.

Patient Education and Setting Expectations

Emphasizing patient education is essential, as many individuals are prescribed opioids for the first time after surgery. As surgeons, we are responsible for informing patients about the potential risks associated with opioid misuse, including addiction and overdose. We must also explain how non-opioid alternatives can effectively manage pain while reducing these risks.

Setting realistic expectations for pain management is crucial, as patients may need clarification about the level of pain they should expect after surgery. Educating and involving patients in their care can ensure optimal outcomes while promoting a safe and responsible approach to pain management.

Emphasizing a Multimodal Approach

Moreover, surgeons can champion a multimodal approach to pain management, combining different non-opioid techniques for a more comprehensive solution. By using multiple methods to target various pain pathways, we can achieve better pain relief with fewer side effects and less reliance on opioids. Queens Surgical Center is continuously updating our pain management practices to adopt a multimodal approach and ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients. From preoperative to postoperative care, our team is dedicated to providing a personalized and comprehensive approach to pain management.

Enhance Your Surgical Care With QSC

At Queens Surgical Center, we’re dedicated to leading the charge against opioid misuse by championing non-opioid alternatives. With a strong emphasis on patient safety and evidence-based practices, we’re setting new benchmarks in surgical care. Partner with QSC and join our commitment to redefine standards, prioritize patient well-being, and address this crucial issue head-on. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we’re making a difference in the fight against opioid misuse.

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