Opioid-Free Surgery and Recovery

At Harrington + Associates Plastic Surgery, we are proud to offer our patients an alternative to opioid-based anesthesia. Our opioid-free or reduced surgery and recovery option is a customized approach that can offer benefits to certain patients that may have sensitivities to narcotic medications. Opioid-free or reduced anesthesia could help enhance recovery after surgery and reduce the risk of side effects that may be experienced with opioids.

Dr. Jennifer Harrington is a top female plastic surgeon that works closely with her patients to provide customized treatment and results. During your consultation, she will discuss your goals for surgery and help you choose the best option for anesthesia that is right for you.

Contact us online or call our Plymouth office today at 651-413-9525 for more information about opioid-free/reduced surgery. At Harrington + Associates Plastic Surgery, we strive to provide the best and most suitable care for men and women from Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Cloud, Wayzata, Minnetonka and throughout Minnesota.

Who is a Good Candidate for Opioid-Free/Reduced Surgery?

Opioid-free/reduced surgery and recovery is best suited for individuals who may experience adverse reactions, such as postoperative nausea and vomiting, and those who may be susceptible to opioid misuse. You may be a good candidate for our opioid-free/reduced surgery if you have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Narcotic abuse history
  • History of postoperative nausea/vomiting
  • Opioid intolerance (itching, constipation)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • History of chronic pain
  • Immune deficiency
  • Inflammatory diseases

What opioid-free/reduced surgery and recovery can offer:

  • Reduced need for pain medication after surgery
  • Decreased postoperative nausea and vomiting
  • Reduced chance of deep venous thrombosis (DVT)
  • Reduced risk of allergic reaction
  • Enhanced recovery and satisfaction

Men and women seeking the following treatments may benefit from this surgical option:

What to Expect during Surgery

For opioid-free/reduced surgery and recovery, we use total intravenous anesthesia, or TIVA. TIVA is a type of general anesthesia that can leave your system relatively quickly and can be regulated to induce light to deeper sedation. TIVA is an excellent option for outpatient cosmetic procedures due to its many perks. Some of the benefits of TIVA anesthesia include:

  • Reduced postoperative nausea and vomiting
  • Faster wake-up after surgery which could result in shorter recovery room times and earlier discharge
  • Smoother wake up with less grogginess and confusion
  • A reduced stress response by the body
  • Reduced risk of blood clots

To administer TIVA, our certified anesthesia provider will use an IV to inject the non-opioid anesthesia medications intravenously. TIVA uses a calculated system for precise dosage and delivery of medication(s) required to keep you anesthetized and your pain managed. We will continue to monitor your vitals and dosage throughout the entire surgery to maintain your safety and comfort.

Opioid-Free Surgery and Recovery img 1Once you are under anesthesia, a local anesthetic nerve block will be administered in the area of surgery. This can help not only to control discomfort during the procedure, but also provide pain relief for hours after the surgery. At our practice, we also offer Exparel extended-release local anesthetic. This long-acting local anesthetic numbs the area it is injected to for 48 to 72 hours after injection. This prolonged numbing effect can help support an easier recovery with little to no pain.


Recovery with Opioid-Free/Reduced Anesthesia

Although recovery varies depending on the individuals’ procedure, genetics, and ability to heal, most people report feeling a little groggy following surgery. However, unlike with narcotics, this feeling should quickly fade as you awaken and the anesthetic medications leave your system.

Dr. Harrington may recommend that you take certain medications before surgery to proactively help reduce any possible discomfort and nausea.

Even though you may not be experiencing significant pain, it is still vital that you rest following your surgery. Dr. Harrington will discuss your recovery period beforehand, and you should avoid most activities for a few days to weeks, depending on your surgical procedure. Dr. Harrington will provide you with post-surgery instructions, including your rest and recovery period, and you should follow those guidelines to optimize your results.

Next Steps

All general anesthesia, including TIVA, carry risks. TIVA may not be appropriate in every case for every patient.

If you’re looking for alternatives to traditional anesthetic, opioid-free/reduced surgery may be right for you. If you have questions or would like more information about our anesthesia options, please contact us online or call our Plymouth office at 651-413-9525 today.

Service Type
Opioid-Free/Reduced Surgery Recovery
Provider Name
Dr. Jennifer Harrington,
2805 Campus Drive - East Building, Suite 485,Plymouth,Minnesota-55441,
Telephone No.(651) 413-9162
Twin Cities
Looking for opioid-free anesthesia options? Plastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Harrington of Harrington Plastic Surgery offers non-narcotic anesthesia options for men and women in the Twin Cities area.