By Roy Soto, MD

Victory over pain is the greatest gift an anesthesiologist like me can offer his patients. I discovered that firsthand when I switched from general surgery to anesthesiology 20 years ago.

During surgery, the medications and techniques used to anesthetize a patient are carefully controlled. Anesthesiologists consider the patient’s medical history and coordinate with the operating surgeon. It’s after surgery that problems often begin. At that point, pain treatment relies heavily on prescription opioids – too heavily for many Americans.

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