Two studies presented at the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s annual meeting suggest that a balloon device called ON-Q would provide postoperative pain control. The balloon device dispenses a local anesthetic into the surgical site. In a study of 30 women who had undergone elective abdominal hysterectomy, 10% needed no additional pain medication beyond ON-Q, and 33% used only nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. ON-Q delivered 0.5% ropivacaine, 0.5% bupivacaine, or 2% lidocaine to the surgical site at a rate of 2 ml per hour.
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Another study, conducted at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, found that ON-Q reduced opioid use by 40% and delivered equivalent pain relief to patients who had cesarean sections.