Summary: Pain management is a central focus for the plastic surgeon's perioperative planning, and it no longer represents a postoperative afterthought. Protocols that rely on opioid-only pain therapy are outdated and discouraged, as they do not achieve optimal pain relief, increase postoperative morbidity, and contribute to the growing opioid epidemic. A multimodal approach to pain management using non-opioid analgesic techniques is an integral component of enhanced recovery after surgery protocols. Careful perioperative planning for optimal pain management must be achieved in multidisciplinary collaboration with the perioperative care team including anesthesiology. This allows pain management interventions to occur at 3 critical opportunities - preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative settings.
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