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Can we Eliminate Surgical Pain Without Addicting Patients?
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Published 4 months ago |
Barry Friedberg, Pioneer of Brain Monitored, Goldilocks anesthesia

It must have been terrifying for humanity up until the 1600s to have little more than opium or willowbark to relieve severe pain. From that century up to the 1800s, the blessings of sedation via chloroform and ether lessened the terror for the growing field of surgery. It wasn’t until the late 1800s, though, when ether allowed anesthesia to really prevent pain during operations.

In the 1900s patients had it better with heroin and morphine, but their addiction potential led in the 1960s to the professionalization of the Pain Management field. Medicating the brain - as anesthesia does - has risks (including death or postoperative cognitive disorder) that has leading doctors and scientists struggling to find the right amount of medication - the Goldilocks principle - to enable pain-free surgery without putting patients at risk.

The only way to get not 'too much,' not 'too little' but 'just the right amount' of anesthesia for your brain is to directly measure it's response. Brain activity monitors evaluate individual patient brain responses, eliminating the practice of routine anesthesia over-medication. Older patients, especially those with other medical problems, are vulnerable to anesthesia risks. Seventy million Baby Boomers are entering their 'Golden' years. As 10% of them will have surgery every year, they pose a substantial potential postoperative problem for their families and the health care system.

Americans must become their own patient safety advocates. Americans must insist on brain monitoring with anesthesia. Dr. Friedberg will explain if no brain monitoring is available at the facility where your surgery is planned, calmly explain to your surgeon (or administrator or anesthesia provider) that you will seek another one where this type of monitoring will be done. Monitoring virtually eliminates the need for postoperative opioid pain relief along with the risk of postoperative opioid addiction.

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