For a very long time, opioids have been used as an agent for pain management both in veterinary and human anesthesia. They have certain properties that allow them to be used to control pain. They also contribute in large amounts to the hemodynamic stability that’s needed during surgery and anesthesia.
Like many other medical products, the use of opioids comes with their side effects. Opioids have various side effects that we try to avoid as medical professionals and some of them include hallucinations, sleep disturbance, addiction, cognitive dysfunction, cancer recurrence, increased hospital stay, vomiting and post-operative nausea, respiratory depression and induced hyperalgesia.
While opioids are usually part of the drugs administered to patients for general anesthesia, new research has shown that there are other pain medications asides opioids that are capable of curbing postoperative side effects and pain.
However, they’ve been abused to an extent they are don’t even work as efficiently as they used to for pain management and anesthetics. It has now become imperative for medical professionals to limit the use opioids for surgery. Even patients that want to avoid the risk of drug addiction also seek to get an alternative.
Why you shouldn’t use balanced anesthesia anymore
There are a lot of logical reasons that explain the emergent use of opioid-free anesthesia. Opioids have been used in pain management, by doctors like Robert St. Thomas and veterinary medicine for a long time now.
While the potential adverse effects related to the use of opioids are enough reasons to accept the use of Opioid-free anesthesia, it is relatively new when it comes to human medicine. Opioid-free anesthesia is used in order to aggressively treat a patient’s pain, maximize their respiratory abilities as well as eliminate the possible side effects of opioids. It is also a safer option.
There are certain changes that occur in the body’s nervous system that sensitizes and magnifies the pain that a patient feels after surgery. An understanding of this makes it possible for us to effectively treat post-surgery pain just like an illness or disease.
A medication is administered to help increase comfort, healing and protect the patient from the possibility and risk of opioid related addiction and side effects after surgeries.
Like we said earlier, there are different reasons why doctors and anesthesia providers prefer to administer Opioid-free anesthesia. Some of the reasons include
- Opioid-free anesthesia provides quality post-operative pain management or control. It does this by protecting the patient from opioid and surgically induced hyperalgesia
- Patients that have impaired respiratory functions such as sleep apnea, COPD, or obesity can benefit because Opioid-free anesthesia is capable of minimizing respiratory depression
- Anesthesia can now be administered for the treatment of patients who are on chronic opioid therapy, patients who have chronic pain conditions and those patients who are either addicted to opioid or heroin. Patients who also in treatment or recovery from opioid addiction (suboxone and methadone) can also use Opioid-free anesthesia
- The use of Opioid-free anesthesia reduces the possibility for the reoccurrence of cancer and it essentially diminishes post-operative cognitive dysfunction.