Bon Secours hospital cuts opioid use 80% with surgical recovery program

Richmond, Va.-based Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital achieved an 80 percent reduction in postoperative opioid use among laparoscopic colorectal surgical patients after implementing a new surgical recovery program, according to a report from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The surgical program's protocols include nutritional supplementation before surgery, a postoperative diet that minimizes the need for intravenous fluids and the use of more anti-inflammatory medications and nonopioid pain medications such as Tylenol. Since St. Mary's implemented the protocols in 2016, colorectal surgical patients have required 80 percent fewer postoperative opioids both in the hospital and post-discharge.

"The non-opioids that we're using manage their pain very well," Dennis Cohen, MD, a surgeon at St. Mary's, told the Times-Dispatch. "There are a fair number of patients that require no narcotics at all while they're in the hospital."

The program has also resulted in a two-day reduction in length-of-stay among these patients, which offers various psychological benefits and allows patients who require chemotherapy to begin treatment sooner.

"Nobody wants to be in the hospital," Dr. Cohen told the Times-Dispatch. "To be able to come in, have a major operation and to be home (sooner) with no narcotics, is really ideal."

More than 460 Virginians died of a prescription opioid overdose in 2016, according to the report.

To read the full report, click here.

More articles on opioids: 
Gov. John Kasich says Ohio might include drug distributors in opioid lawsuit after '60 Minutes' report 
Massachusetts opioid prescriptions drop 28% in last 3 years 
60+ Wisconsin counties expected to participate in opioid epidemic lawsuit

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