A member asked:

In order to manage the pain after a sigmoid colectomy (open surgery), what are the differences in efficacy between exparel and an epidural? is one considered generally better?

10 doctors weighed in across 5 answers
Dr. Michael Francis answered

Specializes in Pain Management

Epidural: You can have an continuous epidural for the first several days to control the post op pain and decrease your stress response.

Answered 6/22/2015

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Dr. David Earle answered

Specializes in General Surgery

Tough to say: Epidurals have been shown to lower your risk of complications, and shorten the length is stay in the hospital. Exparel via TAP block works well, but is new, so we don't know as much about the outcomes. Talk to the anesthesiologist and you'll get a sense about which is right for you. Hope this helps! And best of luck.

Answered 6/22/2015

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Dr. Alexander Bankov answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

Apples and oranges: sorry if names sound similar, it might be confusing.. Exparel is a brand name for the paricular formulation of a numbing medicine, or local anesthetic - liposomal bupivacaine. This or traditional bupivacaine could be administered via particular injection technique, that received the name from the anatomical location - epidural space. Your anesthesiologist or any specialist on HealthTap can help

Answered 5/30/2016

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Dr. Eric Kaplan answered

Specializes in Colon and Rectal Surgery

I personally: have not seen much benefit from epidurals for post op pain and mobility and have thus abandoned them. I have used Exparel for all my abdominal surgeries for the last 2 years and have had excellent results and patient satisfaction with normal lengths of stay after colon surgery of 3-4 days and only ibuprofen for home d/c meds for pain.

Answered 6/30/2015

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Dr. Vivek Iyer answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

Epidural: Exparel is a single injection of local anesthetic lasting for a limited duration. Many times, Exparel will only last for 24 hours. An epidural lasts as long as it is in. It can contain just local anesthetic or a combination with narcotic pain medications. Once removed, you will transition to pain medication by mouth. Whichever route you end up taking, you will need pain meds. Less with epidural

Answered 1/17/2016

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