I don’t care if it’s cataracts or cancer — there’s no such thing as “minor” anymore.
ANY operation will pack more risks than most docs and surgeons let on, and it doesn’t end when you hop off the slab in the recovery room.
A new study finds that any kind of surgery — even the so-called “minor” operations performed about a million times EVERY WEEK in the United States alone — can lead to opioid use, abuse, and addiction.
Compared to someone who hasn’t had surgery, a “minor” procedure will increase your odds of getting hooked on opioid painkillers by up to TWELVE TIMES.
The study finds that only about half a percent of folks who haven’t had surgery and with no history of opioid use find themselves on the painkillers for three to six months or longer.
Compare that to a stunning 6 percent — more than 1 in 20 — patients who have surgery of any kind, and you can see how quickly these drugs become a problem.
And the biggest risk of all is in folks battling one of the nation’s most common chronic pain problems: arthritis.
People with arthritis who have surgery — not necessarily arthritis surgery, mind you, but any procedure at all — are 50 percent more likely to end up with long-term opioid prescriptions.
No doubt, the little taste of these drugs from surgery is causing folks to think they can use it for everything else, too, including arthritis pain.
But that’s the BIG LIE of opioid painkillers: The relief doesn’t last.
You quickly build tolerance, needing more meds and higher doses to get the same relief, along with that notorious “high” that causes your brain to crave another dose.
Next thing you know, you’re among the 10 million Americans hooked on opioids.
Let me give you two tips on how to take yourself out of this deadly cycle.
First, make sure you actually NEED the procedure you’re going in for. I’ve read too many horror stories about elective surgeries and unnecessary operations leading to longtime problems — and not just opioid abuse.
Infection, medical mistakes, disappointing results, and more could all turn a quickie procedure into a long-running nightmare — so think twice and always get another opinion.
And second, if you DO need surgery, cook up a pain management plan beforehand. If you wait until afterward, when you’re in more agony than you expected, you could end up making bad decisions… including a decision to take opioids.
Techniques such as acupuncture can bring real and lasting relief, but often need weeks to kick in, so you might want to start your sessions BEFORE the operation if you want to go that route.
Also talk to a doc about nondrug options like natural anti-inflammatories, as well as topical painkillers such as MSM.