New data show that EXPAREL® (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) improves postsurgical pain for abdominoplasty and breast augmentation/reduction patients and allows for fewer opioids.

Approved by the FDA in 2011, Pacira’s EXPAREL is injected slowly into soft tissues of the surgical site and provides pain control for 3 days.

Stephan J. Finical, MD, a Charlotte, NC-based plastic surgeon, presented findings from the EXPAREL EXCLAIM study at The Aesthetic Meeting 2013, the 46th annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) in New York City. The data, which was selected as one of three “Best of Hot Topics” at the meeting, evaluated 49 patients at 10 sites nationwide, who received EXPAREL following abdominoplasty, breast augmentation, breast reduction or a combination abdominoplasty/breast procedure.

Oscar E. Masters, MD, a plastic surgery resident at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, who also presented data on EXPAREL in 20 abdominoplasty patients, added, “Postoperative pain control is challenging in abdominoplasty and oral pain medications have side effects including risk of abuse, as well as nausea and vomiting.” Pain pumps may malfunction and confer an increased risk of infection.


The EXCLAIM study shows that use of the injection improves the postoperative experience and reduces pain. Patients who received EXPAREL took fewer opioids for rescue pain relief—around three tablets taken daily versus historically expected 10 tablets per day. The only issue may be the cost. EXPAREL will cost more than regular Bupivicaine. (One vial of EXPAREL costs $285. One vial of Bupivacaine costs $5.)