Marijuana before surgery? NOT the answer!

#Surgery can be #stressful and anxiety provoking. I see it in my patients every day. Quick fixes like anti-anxiety medications (think xanax and ativan) and cannabis are appealing “quick fixes”. Unfortunately, they don’t help treat the underlying cause of the anxiety AND they can be dangerous around the time of surgery.

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Bailey, Laila. “Strategies for decreasing patient anxiety in the perioperative setting.” AORN journal 92.4 (2010): 445-460.

Tick, Heather, et al. “Evidence-based nonpharmacologic strategies for comprehensive pain care: the Consortium Pain Task Force white paper.” Explore 14.3 (2018): 177-211.

Physicians’ progress toward ending the nation’s drug overdose and death epidemic. OPIOID TASK FORCE 2020 PROGRESS REPORT.

Twardowski, Mark A., Margaret M. Link, and Nicole M. Twardowski. “Effects of cannabis use on sedation requirements for endoscopic procedures.” J Am Osteopath Assoc 119.5 (2019): 307-11.

Abbreviated transcript:
We all know that too much stress and anxiety makes you feel bad, but they can also increase your risk of complications that we, as your doctors, may not be able to treat, like slower wound healing, anesthetic risk, long term pain and medication use, blood clots, and nausea. Pain meds used for as little as five days can lead to long term use and addiction, which can affect one in four patients. Unfortunately, the overdose death curve is not flattening yet. My approach is to PREVENT #pain however possible after surgery to minimize these risks in my patients. It starts with anxiety and stress.
So, the natural question is, why not just take #anxiety medication, like Xanax or Ativan? That’s not a bad idea. It’s an incredibly dangerous idea. Sure, that can artificially help anxiety in the moment, but it doesn’t help reduce your pain or the other complications after surgery. Worse, it can lead to DEATH if mixed with pain medication.
How about #cannabis? #Marijuana use significantly increases #anesthesia requirements, over DOUBLE the dose. Such dramatic increases in anesthesia carry anesthetic risk without any evidence of reducing pain, blood clots, nausea, or the other complications.
So how about distraction, like watching TV? Distraction can be powerful in the moment but can increase pain in the long run. That’s because distraction is like running away from the pain. You can only run away for so long before getting exhausted, and that’s when the pain can bite back.
So what do I do for my patients? I show them how to naturally treat the UNDERLYING cause of their stress and anxiety before surgery, without medications. We’re not putting a bandaid over the anxiety, we’re TREATING the underlying cause. This way, we fundamentally prevent the complications from that stress and anxiety. We can PREVENT the long term pain, nausea, and all of the above, without medication side effects or risk of addiction. All my patients have this potential, and so do you.

#wellness #surgery #health #wellbeing #integrativemedicine


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