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Health & Science

Cleveland Clinic Akron General Reducing Use Of Opiates In Surgeries

Cleveland Clinic Akron General
JEFF ST.CLAIR
/
WKSU

Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital is discharging colorectal patients sooner after surgery with a significant reduction in opiates.

The average length of stay for a patient is five or six days, but the new protocol reduces stay to 2.5 days. The hospital is using a ketamine based anesthetic, blocking pain in the abdomen before and after surgery.

Chair of the Department of Surgery Mark Horattas says they’ve decreased the average dose of opiates by 88 percent before surgery, resulting in over 83 percent of patients requiring no narcotic treatment after surgery.

“They go home sooner, they have fewer complications, we’re able to improve patient satisfaction and the results were really remarkable to all the caregivers involved with taking care of this patient population.”

Horattas says narcotics given during surgery had a negative effect on patients delaying bowel functions, causing additional pain and increased risks of blood clots or pneumonia.

The hospital is in the process of expanding the treatment across all abdominal surgeries.