Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Special Edition: Pain Management - March 2021 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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N umbing nerves with local anesthet- ics relieves post-op pain for days at a time. Freezing them with a blast of targeted cold therapy can provide the same soothing effect for weeks or even months. "Cryoanalgesia has the potential to reduce the reliance on traditional opioid-based pain management strategies," says Jon Wilton, DNAP, CRNA, chief nurse anesthetist at Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta (Calif.). "Limiting opioid use reduces associated side effects, including addiction, and facilitates early post-op mobility." Cryo is performed percutaneously by guiding a closed probe next to a nerve. Carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide is passed through the probe until the gas reaches the probe's tip and the pressure drops, which results in a drastic cooling. The end result is the creation of an ice ball that encompasses the tar- geted nerve, freezes and disables it, and keeps patients pain-free for extended periods. The potency of this pain-relieving treatment is one of the major reasons facilities are increasingly looking at cryo in their quest to improve patient comfort with fewer opioids. It's also why the treat- ment is beginning to pique the interest of surgical professionals who want to advance the manage- ment of post-op pain with longer-lasting analgesia. Straightforward and effective If the process of cryo — targeting specific nerves and blocking the pain sensation in that area — sounds familiar, it's because, for all practical pur- poses, it's similar to placing a standard regional block. "When we say peripheral nerve block, every- M A R C H 2 0 2 1 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y . N E T • 5 The Cold Hard Facts on Cryo With a variety of applications, the demand for cryoanalgesia is increasing at outpatient facilities. COOL COMFORT Jon Wilton, DNAP, CRNA, performs cryoanalgelsia to manage pain associated with total shoulders and knees, rib fractures and sensory nerve neuropathy. Jared Bilski | Managing Editor Benjamin S. Nuti

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