Exparel: Loger-lasting Local Anesthetic

Dr. Nichter is pleased to announce that the long-lasting local anesthetic Exparel® will soon be available to his patients at the Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery.

Essentially Exparel is a very long-acting local anesthetic that has just been released. It lasts approximately 3 or more days following injection. This is the same length of time that a pain pump lasts and will therefore take the place of a pain pump. This means patients can enjoy the same effect of a pain pump, but without any catheters and no pain pump to carry around.

Exparel will be available for those concerned about minimizing discomfort after surgeries such as tummy tuck and breast augmentation.

Exparel costs the same as a pain pump and produces the same result but with less hassle.

From Exparel’s fact sheet:

To help control your pain after surgery, your surgeon injected EXPAREL into your surgical incision just before the end of the procedure.

  • EXPAREL is a local analgesic that contains the local anesthetic bupivacaine. Local anesthetics provide pain relief by numbing the tissue around the surgical site.
  • EXPAREL is specifically designed to release pain medication over time and can control pain for up to 72 hours.
  • In addition to EXPAREL, your surgeon may provide other pain medications to control your pain.
  • Each patient is different and responds differently to pain medication. Depending on how you respond to EXPAREL, you may require less additional pain medication during your recovery.


When your pain is under control, your body can better focus on healing. This is not the time to test your pain tolerance, or grin and bear it.Work with your surgeon and nurse to make your recovery as speedy and pain-free as possible.

  • Follow the post-op orders your nurse gave you.
  • Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. Surgery stresses your body; your body responds by needing more energy to heal

Image Source: Exparel Efficacy Page

How to Use Clonidine Patches

Use Clonidine Patches as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

You will apply the patch to a hairless area on the upper outer arm as directed by our office.

If your blood pressure is normal, it is usually applied two days prior to surgery and left on for one week. If directed to use one prior to that, it should be changed in 7 days if applicable. The area chosen should be free of cuts, scrapes, irritation, scars, and calluses. Do not place the patch on skin folds or under tight undergarments because it may come loose. If more than one patch is prescribed then the new patch should be placed on a different skin site from the previous site.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them completely before applying Clonidine Patches.
  • Clean the chosen application area with soap and water. Rinse the area and wipe it with a clean, dry tissue.
  • Remove the patch from the pouch. Remove the clear plastic protective backing from the pouch by gently peeling off one half of the backing at a time. Avoid touching the sticky side of the patch.
  • Place the patch on the skin site (sticky side down) by applying firm pressure on top of the patch. The adhesive overlay does not contain any medicine and should not be used alone.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water to remove any medication that may be on your hands.

If the patch does not stick firmly or begins to come loose, apply the adhesive overlay on top of the patch. The adhesive overlay does not contain any medicine and should not be used alone.

After removing the used patch, fold it in half with the sticky sides together. Discard the patch out of the reach of children and away from pets. Even after it has been used, the patch contains active medicine, which may be harmful if accidentally applied or ingested.

Continue to use Clonidine Patches even if you feel well.