By Kathy Walsh


DENVER (CBS4)– A woman from Wyoming is pain free, just three weeks after breast cancer surgery. Cindy Loose came to Denver for her care and is thrilled about a new method of pain control that left her without the need for opioids.

Cindy Loose with Dr. Karen Lo

Cindy Loose with Dr. Karen Lo (credit: CBS)

Cindy, 52, meets weekly with Dr. Karen Lo, plastic surgeon at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center. They discuss Cindy’s breast reconstruction that was done at the same time as her double mastectomy. The surgery happened Sept. 18.

“It was amazing how quickly I recovered,” Cindy told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

Cindy Loose with Dr. Karen Lo (credit: CBS)

Cindy and her husband, Steve, live in Saratoga, Wyo. When Cindy learned she had breast cancer, she turned to doctors in Colorado.

“They seemed to be very cutting edge in their techniques,” Cindy explained.

But she was worried.

Cindy Loose with her husband

Cindy Loose with her husband (credit: CBS)

“I was anxious about the pain that would come along with the surgery,” she said.

Dr. Stephanie Miller was Cindy’s breast surgeon at Rose Medical Center and is medical director of Rose Breast Center.

Dr. Stephanie Miller

CBS4’s Kathy Walsh interviews Dr. Stephanie Miller (credit: CBS)

“We’ve been offering women a combination of two ways to deal with their pain around the time of surgery,” Miller said.

One is a pectoral nerve block given before surgery starts and when the patient is already under anesthesia. The other is a slow-release numbing medication, called EXPAREL, injected during surgery.

“I think it’s completely changing how we view the operative experience,” said Miller.

“I never had an ounce of pain the whole time,” said Cindy.

Cindy Loose

Cindy Loose (credit: CBS)

Cindy said the two medications wore off in four days. She was prescribed oxycodone. She took Tylenol and an anti-inflammatory (Celebrex).

“I never had to use the opioid at all,” Cindy said.

She is grateful for her care.

An emotional Cindy said, “I just had the very best experience and my fears were so high and they were just relieved.”

LINK: Colorado Total Breast Health

Kathy Walsh

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