Fairfax County doctor using new technique to decrease chances of opioid addiction
Heather Hassell's degenerative disk disease flared up last January, making everyday life full of dizzying debilitating pain.
"I was in extreme pain," she said. "I basically lived on drugs for almost a year."
The mother of five from Alexandria had surgery in September to replace a disk in her neck which was causing an indentation in her spine.
When most doctors do these kinds of procedures, strong opioids are used in recovery – sometimes for weeks after the surgery. However, Dr. Jae Lim is using a different approach.
Lim is the director of neurosurgery trauma at Reston Hospital Center and his goal is to heal patients without the risk of opioid addiction by using a technique known as ERAS or enhanced recovery after surgery.