Is Exparel Worth the Extra $300 for my Breast Augmentation?

I am interested in getting the Exparel injection during my BA, and was wondering if it is worth it. I do not like pain meds such as Vicodin that makes me feel high & foggy, so I would like to avoid taking them as much as possible. I much rather take high doses of ibuprofen, but not sure if that will be allowed after surgery. Will Exparel make my breasts numb for 72 hrs? If so, the concern I have with that is that I may hurt myself or rip my sutures and not even know it.

Doctor Answers (4)

Exparel in breast surgery


The company that makes Exparel has been trying to convince plastic surgeons to use this on their patients.  Personally, I have never used it and don't think it's worth the cost or if it even works.  You can't use ibuprofen because of the risk of bleeding.  There are many different meds for post op pain relief and I am sure your surgeon and anesthesiologist can figure out something that will work for you.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Exparel for Post Operative Releif in Breast Augmentation


Exparel is  relatively new  potentially very valuable pain reliever for post op recovery .  The local anesthetic Bupivicaine is combined in a time release capsule so that it can be effective for several days,  It decreases need for narcotic use and does not make you sleepy. The only downside to its use is its significant cost.  I use a lot of local anesthetic at the time of breast augmentation to cut down on discomfort.  For those very fearful of pain I use a "pain pump" with marcaine, a similar drug.  This also adds cost to the procedure, so is a barrier for some.  Most women do just fine with tolerating the pain, so it really is not necessary for the majority.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Limited scientific data concerning Exparel for breast augmentation.


I haven't seen anything in the literature about the use of this drug specifically in breast augmentation. I don't see much of a downside to it but I wonder if it will be worth $300.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

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Is Exparel Worth the Extra $300 for my Breast Augmentation?


Exparel should provide up to three days of pain relief after surgery. Obviously it is more expensive than pain pills, but only you can decide if that offeres $300 in value. It is quite unlikely that you chances of injury are higher. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

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