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Columbus Dispatch: Pain Balls’ Cut Opioid Use in New Moms After C-Sections

For many women, their first exposure to certain pain killers – opioids – comes after delivering a baby via C-section as a way to treat post-surgical pain and discomfort. There are times, however, that women can become addicted to opioids during their recovery. In fact, a new study says that opioids post C-section can put 21,000 women at risk of addiction.

Many doctors are looking for alternative ways to help ease the pain. One of those ways is the ON-Q Pain Management System, manufactured by Avanos and utilized at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital by Dr. Anita Somani, an OB/GYN with Comprehensive Women’s Care.

“We prescribe less narcotics, and our patients are using less narcotics,” Dr. Somani told Columbus Dispatch reporter Mark Kovac in a recent interview. “That’s the goal, to adequately treat pain without creating a situation where someone becomes dependent.”

The ON-Q pump – or pain ball, as it’s referred to by some – is one of those solutions used by Dr. Somani. It does not contain narcotics. Instead, it delivers a local anesthetic that provides targeted pain relief, both at the surgical site and closer to the nerves.

Katrina Bowman is a clinical nurse manager at Riverside and used the ON-Q pump after delivering her baby daughter, Kinley. She knew she wanted a C-section, but knew paid would come along with it.

“They literally cut your abdominal muscles, so any muscles that you have to sit up and move are gone,” she told the Dispatch. “You can’t even stand up. ... You can’t move. And if you do move, it just hurts.”

But with the ON-Q pump?

“It was amazing,” Katrina told the Dispatch.

You can view the full Columbus Dispatch story by clicking here.