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With new protocol, Methodist surgeons cut into opioid reliance


Published: Oct. 2, 2017

Michelle Peacock was tucked under a shiny silver warming blanket before her thyroid surgery at Methodist Hospital recently when she got the first medications to head off pain after the procedure.

The cocktail — Tylenol, the nerve drug gabapentin and a sister drug of ibuprofen — also was intended to get her up and feeling well enough to go home that day and to minimize, even eliminate, her need for opioid painkillers afterward.

Dr. Oleg Militsakh, a head and neck surgical oncologist at Methodist, reminded Peacock that she could alternate taking Tylenol and ibuprofen when she got home and call if she needed anything stronger.

Anesthesiologist Dr. Mark D’Agostino encouraged her to apply ice packs — 30 minutes at a time. “It’s a great analgesic,” he said.

Omaha World-Herald reporter Julie Anderson: With new drug protocol, Methodist Hospital head and neck surgeons cut into opioid reliance