New Hanover Regional Medical Center has made strides in reducing the number of opioids prescribed for its patients. The Director of Robotic Surgery at NHRMC, Dr. Roc McCarthy, DO, has adopted a new technology that further reduces the need for opioids after surgery.
Since April, Dr. McCarthy has been using Pulse Electromagnetic Frequency (PEMF) Therapy – a small, lightweight device that transmits gentle electromagnetic pulses to an area of the body after surgery. Dr. McCarthy is a urologist with NHRMC Physician Group-Atlantic Urology, and he performs robotic surgery at NHRMC.
The use of PEMF has helped Dr. McCarthy prescribe 40 percent fewer narcotics to his surgery patients.
The new treatment is placed directly over the source of pain, where it reduces swelling caused by fluid under the skin. This reduces the pain level and decreases the need for medication. With less pain and less medication, patients can move around sooner, which stimulates the body’s natural response to healing.
"You swell less, and you hurt less,” Dr. McCarthy said. “Fewer narcotics are prescribed, and patients are less likely to experience constipation. This helps us get patients on a good diet sooner, and get them home sooner."
Patients using PEMF can take a device home with them to control their pain.
Other surgeons at NHRMC have noticed how beneficial the device is for patients, and have expressed interest in using it on their patients.