Baptist’s OnQ Pain Pump Reduces Pain, Recovery Time and Side Effects
After 35 surgeries, including five on his left shoulder, Henry Dronzek knows plenty about pain — before and after surgery. His latest surgery, to repair his rotator cuff in July at Baptist Beaches, had a new twist.
The anesthesia team used the new OnQ pain pump, designed to reduce the need for narcotic pain-killing medicine and its side effects.
“I didn’t have to take any other medicine for the first four and half days,” Henry said. “This OnQ pump cut down my pain considerably.”
The OnQ pain pump consists of a catheter inserted near the nerves affected by the surgery, and a small pump that contains a measured amount of numbing medicine.
Cheryl Dixon, MD, chair of anesthesiology at Baptist Beaches explains the process of preparation for shoulder surgery: “We place a catheter by the nerve in the neck that carries pain message to the brain and inject numbing medicine around nerves. After the surgery, the patient wakes up and feels good. For years, we’ve placed a pain block with a single injection, but that wears off. With the OnQ, however, the patient leaves the hospital with the device and can adjust the dosage as needed. Depending on their use, they can get as many as 100 hours from the pump.”
The OnQ system includes ultrasound equipment that provides the anesthesiologist a clear view of where to place the catheter. “We use it to look at nerves and arteries, and identify exactly where we need to go,” Dr. Dixon continued. “It’s very safe and it greatly reduces the need for pain drugs.”
Baptist Beaches is one of the first hospitals in Northeast Florida to have an OnQ System.
The Baptist Beaches anesthesiology team uses it primarily for shoulder and knee surgery and is considering using it in the future for abdominal surgery.
“I think it’s a wonderful device,” Henry said as he continues recovery from shoulder surgery. “I’m glad I got one.”