Breast augmentation can result in dramatic improvement, but the pain associated with it is no walk in the park. Science may change that if the time-released encapsulated form of bupivacaine (a common numbing agent) is used to diminish post-procedure pain.
Known as Exparel, it’s injected at the site at the time of surgery (i.e., in the breast implant pocket), and slowly released over 72 hours. Seattle, WA, plastic surgeon Richard A. Baxter, MD, explains that Exparel, “Really helps patients get over the hump of the first few days when the pain is the worst. It also doesn’t offer the downside of commonly used pain medications, like opioids.”
While Exparel is still in the early stages, Dr. Baxter feels it will have a solid place in plastic surgery, “especially procedures like breast augmentation and abdominoplasty.”
Long-term data shows Exparel as a safe option, demonstrating no interference in the healing process or complications with the implants themselves-only time well tell if this becomes an adopted practice or just a fleeting trend.
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