Treatment after surgery can sometimes cause more problems for people than surgery itself. Most people who have surgery need medication to relieve pain afterwards. This can often be seen as more frightening and frustrating than the procedure itself. Of course, medications are used to provide a break from the pain, but there have been problems with these medications that make handling post-operative therapies more frustrating than it should or could. It’s just that the drugs currently in use either have strong side effects or have the potential to be habit-forming and narcotic. The demand for non-narcotic pain relief is also relatively new in the medical environment, so that no great progress has been made there either.
The primary form of the pain reliever after surgery is known as opioids, which include substances like opium and morphine, both very addictive, very narcotic substances. The two have side effects on virtually every part of the body and can easily develop into a chemical and psychological addiction when used. They have also been used in large doses in the past during post-operative treatment, which may cause patients to feel lethargic and numb for a few days after the procedure, depending on the dose administered. They are effective in treating chronic pain, but the body can quickly develop tolerance to their effects, resulting in a steady increase in doses administered. Some experts argue that the many dangers of this type of situation can be avoided by increasing the use of non-narcotic pain reliever medication.
Some hospitals have already introduced non-narcotic pain relief tactics and medications for their posts – surgical therapeutic needs. This includes the use of small devices that deliver localized pain relievers to the target areas instead of dripping morphine into the bloodstream and affecting the entire body. New drugs are also used that have the same general effectiveness in the body but are less likely to cause side effects. Localized drug delivery is also seen as a key component of this new initiative, as the use of drugs that target only a specific area, even if they have narcotic potential, can significantly reduce the potential harm. New methods of releasing the drugs, such as small machines that are inserted into the body, are also being considered to replace the old drops of morphine. However, this does not mean that the old methods are completely or immediately replaced by non-narcotic pain relief systems.
The problem arises from the large-scale implementation of such changes and the lack of veracity equivalents to using opioids. The financial cost of this type of change is generally estimated far beyond the ability of most hospitals to afford to do it quickly, especially when considering training and care costs. The bigger problem, however, seems to be the lack of alternative medications that can perform at the same level as an opioid like morphine, but not without their own harmful side effects.
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