American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Controlling pain helps to speed recovery following your operation. Your surgical team wants to help you to safely and effectively manage any pain that you may have after surgery. “Safe pain control” means using medication and other therapies to control pain with the least amount of side effects. This section of the American College of Surgeons website has been developed so you can learn more about safe pain control after your operation. If you have any questions after reading through this material, don’t hesitate to ask your surgeon.

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How Surgeons Are Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

Surgeons and all physicians are now screening their patients prior to opioid administration using the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Alternatives to opioids are being used and the amount and dose of opioid pills prescribed to patients is lower when appropriate. Numerous studies are underway monitoring the number of pills used by patients and their pain scores to better match pain control options for specific operations and avoid any excess opioid use (Hill MV, et al. 2018; Howard R, et al. 2018). Below are additional educational and leadership strategies for surgeons: