|Ankle sprain patient Emily Gilmore, seen here during an acetaminophen implantation procedure, would go on to die the following day from meningitis of unknown origin.|
"It's been a real godsend," pediatric surgeon Mort Fishman explains. "Prior to the IV version we had to cross our fingers and hope that the medicine would get to where it was needed. Now, with intravenous acetaminophen I don't have to think anymore. I can literally watch it go into the patient's vein and avoid interrupting their lunch."
But some patients weren't always responding to the IV formulation, especially those with chronic abdominal pain, headaches, or psychogenic paralysis. Thankfully, surgeons like Dr. Fishman now have another trick up their sleeves. Surgically implanted acetaminophen combines the power of acetaminophen with the confidence that the medication is going exactly where it needs to go, the brain and spinal cord.
The procedure, which takes anywhere from 2 to 5 hours, is quickly becoming a popular choice among surgeons, surgical physician assistants, and residents on the surgical service. Fishman, who pioneered the use of minimally invasive robotic surgery for the incision and drainage of buttock abscesses in toddlers, is a believer. "I have had several nurses tell me that it works better than regular Tylenol."