Multimodal pain management is the most effective way to treat postsurgical pain. However, the use of opioids for acute pain management has unfortunately been a significant contributor to the current opioid epidemic. The use of opioids should be limited and only considered a “rescue” pain medication after other modalities of pain management have been utilized.
It may be difficult to curtail the use of opioids in the treatment of chronic pain; however, in the postsurgical setting, there is compelling evidence that an opioid-centric analgesic approach is not necessary for good patient outcomes and healthcare cost benefits. Opioid-related adverse effects are the leading cause of preventable harm in the hospital setting. After the realization in recent years of the many harmful effects of opioids, alternative regimens including the use of multimodal analgesia have become a standard practice in acute pain management. Exparel, a long-lasting liposomal bupivacaine local anesthetic agent, has many significant benefits in the management of postoperative pain. Overall, the literature suggests that Exparel may be a significant component for postoperative multimodal pain control owing to its efficacy and long duration of action.