New Pain Management Protocol for Breast Reconstruction Patients Means Fewer Opioids, Faster Recovery

A new pilot study for breast reconstruction patients at The James set out to find a way to manage pain without as much opioid use as in traditional pain management protocols. The study's result: a new pain management protocol that actually reduced patient need for opioids (and therefore, reduced risk for opioid dependence), shorter hospital stays and faster returns to normal function.

Led by James expert Dr. Michelle Humeidan, the study saw a five-fold reduction in opioid use among breast reconstruction patients and shaved a day off of hospital stays. “We’re able to dramatically decrease the amount of narcotics that we’re using as part of their pain management, and patients are doing better, feeling better and have less side effects from the opiates that were traditionally used,” she said.

The study has been so successful that James physicians are now applying this new best-practice pain management protocol to colorectal cancer surgery patients, with positive initial results.