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Pocket irrigation best for breast surgery pain

Newark, N.J. — Pocket irrigation with bupivacaine and ketorolac is the best non-narcotic pain relief method for patients after breast augmentation, a new study concludes.

While a variety of alternatives to traditional opioid analgesics are available for managing postoperative pain following breast enhancement procedures, the pocket irrigation method with bupivacaine was found to be convenient, affordable and easily accessible for surgeons in many settings.

Researchers with New Jersey Medical School conducted a systematic literature review to determine the best options for pain control following cosmetic breast augmentation currently available. After reviewing 12 studies the authors deemed “high quality,” they concluded that there are a number of methods that allow the choice of pain control to be based on surgeon and patient preference.

The paravertebral blockade proved to be successful if an anesthesiologist is willing to perform the procedure, according to the study. But any treatment methods should be based on cost and ease of implementation for the surgeon and the patient, study authors concluded.

“Caution must be used with any alternative form of pain control, and each patient should be evaluated individually before determining a treatment course,” the authors wrote.

The study was published online Aug. 22 in Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

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