Talking to your doctor about an opioid-minmizing safe pain management plan | EXPAREL.com Talking to your doctor
Male nurse assists female patient in postsurgical physical therapy for knee arthroplasty

Remember, a successful recovery begins with your pain management plan.

Use this helpful tool to put together talking points for your next appointment.

How pain is managed after surgery can have a big impact on your recovery. The best way to prepare is to tell your doctor about your concerns and preferences during your consultation. You should feel comfortable talking about your options, and confident in your approach. This tool can help you have that conversation.

Check all the talking points that are important to you. After you make your selections, click/tap the ”Create” button. Your personalized Discussion Guide will open as a PDF, which you can print out or email for your next appointment.

YOUR PREFERENCES

EXPAREL is a non-opioid treatment option administered during surgery. It delivers long-lasting pain relief and reduces or eliminates the need for opioids.
Let your doctor know if you have experienced any side effects with anesthesia and/or pain medications in the past.
Some patients do not like the idea of taking opioids/narcotics for several reasons. Opioids can cause drowsiness or fogginess, constipation, and nausea. Some people develop a tolerance to opioids and might need higher doses to get the same relief. And some people worry about becoming addicted to opioids, or about their medications being misused by others.
Certain pain management devices and medications, and their side effects, can affect your recovery time.

OTHER CONDITIONS/MEDICAL HISTORY

Let your doctor know any medications you are already taking so you can find out whether you can continue taking them before and after your surgery.
In patients with an enlarged prostate that is not cancerous, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), opioid pain medications can make it more difficult to urinate.
It is important for your doctor to know if there are any medicines you are not able to take.
Some medications may need to be adjusted if you have heart disease, or conditions involving your liver or kidneys. Tell your doctor if you have severe liver or kidney disease.
Patients with sleep apnea may have a higher risk of breathing-related side effects with opioids/narcotics, so be sure to let your doctor know if you have it.
While blood thinners (such as aspirin or warfarin) can help prevent clots and stroke, they can also increase your risk of bleeding. Find out whether you can continue to take these medications before and after surgery.
Asthma and COPD can increase the risk of breathing-related side effects with certain types of anesthesia and/or pain medications.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or are considering breastfeeding; there are certain female health procedures where EXPAREL should not be used.
Certain medications are typically avoided if you have a stomach or intestinal issue. For example, anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen can irritate the stomach lining. Some pain medications can also make it more difficult for patients to have bowel movements.
Be sure your doctor knows every medication you're taking, including supplements.

Your Questions

Where your surgery is, how it's done, and how your body responds to pain medications can all affect how you feel. Ask your doctor what you can expect.
This can help you understand how long it might take for you to get back to doing the things you love.
There are a variety of medications your doctor may use before, during, and after surgery to minimize your need for opioids, including those that can be used to numb the area where you had your procedure.
Find out more about transitioning back to your home and your usual routine after surgery.
Ask about the usual stay for someone having your type of surgery so you know how to plan.
There may be things you can do on your own that can help speed up your recovery. Find out if there's anything you can do.
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