A longer acting local anesthetic has been approved for use in the United States. Exparel is an extended-release version of bupivicaine, a commonly used local anesthetic, that can be used for pain after surgery.
Unlike other local anesthetics which provide relief for 1 to 6 hours, Exparel may offer relief for up to 3 days after injection. Also, Exparel is not a narcotic so there are fewer side effects such as drowsiness.
Based on studies of over 1300 patients in over 20 medical studies, this new version of bupivicaine was found to be safe and effective. The use of Exparel in plastic surgery may allow for more outpatient procedures and easier recoveries since less narcotic medications may be used.