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New Research: Home and Work Demands Require Women Rapidly Recover After Surgery but Medication Choices Delay their Rebound

Opioid Use Remains High Despite Women’s Concerns over Side Effects and Addiction Risks

Women Actively Involved in Planning for Surgery, Except When it Comes to Options for Managing Pain

Learn More About What to Expect After Surgery

PARSIPPANY, N.J., July 15, 2020 - Now more than ever, women undergoing surgery want to spend as little time as possible in the hospital and need to recover quickly to return to their day-to-day activities at home and on the job. According to a new survey, On the Rebound: What to Expect After Surgery, almost all women (96%), ages 30-50 who have had a surgical procedure, are motivated to get back to their daily routine; 43% cite caregiving responsibilities and nearly one-third say a prompt return to work are the main reasons for needing to get back to normal.

Dr. Stoehr

Dr. Stoehr

Dr. Stoehr

However, the survey also finds that while women are actively involved in planning for nearly all aspects of surgery and recovery—ranging from researching insurance coverage and surgeon credentials to coordinating the location of the surgery and in-home support—few are making medication choices that can help them rapidly rebound. Despite side effects that can slow recovery, about two-thirds of women took opioids to treat their pain after surgery even though almost an equal number (60%) agree the drugs hinder everyday activities, and more than eight-in-10 have concerns about taking them, with unwanted side effects and risks of addiction and dependence topping the list.

Misinformation and a lack of communication between patients and surgeons contributes to the ongoing use of opioids. Women are very comfortable in speaking with their doctors about how much pain to expect after surgery and how it will impact their daily activities. However, they stand down when it comes to asking about non-opioids to manage pain although these options can have a substantial impact on how quickly they’ll recover. While certain non-opioid pain treatments can reduce hospital stays by as much as several days, nearly three-quarters of women surveyed did not discuss those alternatives with their doctor before their procedure and about one-in-five aren’t even aware that non-opioid treatments are an option.

“Women take a very proactive role when it comes to talking to their clinician about their surgical care and what to expect during recovery,” said Angela Stoehr, M.D. and board-certified OB/GYN. “However, they often miss the crucial question about which pain management options can deliver the patient experience they want—well-managed pain, minimal opioid exposure, and as little downtime after surgery as possible. There are a range of non-opioid medications that can be a true ‘X-Factor’ in helping provide the rapid rebound women are looking for after their own or a loved one’s surgery. Asking about these options should be at the top of women’s surgical planning checklist.”

The survey polled 500 women ages 30-50 who had orthopedic, soft tissue or OB/GYN surgery and 261 surgeons who perform these procedures. It was conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Pacira BioSciences, Inc. as part of a new initiative called Unlock Your X-Factor which is designed to empower patients to raise their expectations for what is possible after surgery by asking their doctors about non-opioid options.

Health Care Decision-Maker in Chief  

Not only can women benefit when they are well-informed of the risks of opioids and the availability of non-opioid options, their whole family could too. According to the survey, 97% of the women polled said they were responsible for or influence their family members' health care decisions or their own. Doctors validate the critical role women play, with 94% agreeing that women are more proactive than men when it comes to discussing postsurgical pain management for loved ones. More knowledge about non-opioid options could help women reduce postsurgical opioid exposure in their families as well, particularly given that 70% of those surveyed said they would have concerns about a family member taking opioids if prescribed.

Speaking Up Leads to Greater Use of Non-Opioids

The survey also reveals that both surgeons and patients look to the other to raise the topic of using non-opioids. Half of surgeons polled said that the top reason they discuss non-opioids is because their patient specifically requests them. On the other hand, 54% of patients say they don’t bring up the subject because they trust their doctor’s recommendation, and slightly more than one-in-10 worry about questioning their surgeon’s judgement.

Non-Opioids Making Headway

Despite the opportunity for increased doctor-patient dialogue on opioid alternatives, non-opioids are gaining traction. The survey finds 97% of surgeons reported consistent or increasing use of non-opioids over the last 12 months.Further, 84% of surgeons think that non-opioids can effectively treat postsurgical pain, and nearly all (94%) doctors agree that non-opioid pain management options can positively impact recovery and the ability to return to normal function following a surgery.

“It was very important for me to get back to ‘being a mom’ after I had a C-section to deliver my third child,” said Lindsey Kinard, a mom of three from Amarillo, TX. “Following my first two C-sections, the opioids I took left me horribly nauseous, groggy and in unmanaged pain. I didn’t feel alert enough to really bond with my baby, let alone breastfeed. For my third C-section, my obstetrician offered me a long-acting, non-opioid numbing medication that was injected during my procedure and provided pain relief for the first couple of days. My recovery experience could not have been better. I was alert, able to nurse right away and mobile within a few hours of delivery.”

To download a copy of the On the Rebound: What to Expect After Surgery survey report and to learn more about non-opioid options, please visit www.YourXFactor.com.

About Pacira

Pacira BioSciences, Inc. is a leading provider of non-opioid pain management and regenerative health solutions dedicated to advancing and improving outcomes for health care practitioners and their patients. The company’s long-acting local analgesic, EXPAREL® (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) was commercially launched in the United States in April 2012. EXPAREL utilizes DepoFoam®, a unique and proprietary product delivery technology that encapsulates drugs without altering their molecular structure, and releases them over a desired period of time.  In April 2019, the company acquired the iovera⁰ system, a handheld cryoanalgesia device used to deliver precise, controlled doses of cold temperature only to targeted nerves. To learn more about Pacira, including the corporate mission to reduce overreliance on opioids, visit www.pacira.com.

Media Contact:
Alyssa Schneider

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