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Raval Facial Aesthetics Blog

Non-Opioid Pain Management: Celebrex

Posted by Amy Raval on Aug 4, 2020 4:05:00 PM

If you are considering a cosmetic procedure at Raval Facial Aesthetics and are concerned about pain management during your recovery, you can sleep easy knowing that our caring staff has been providing exceptional care for many years. We understand that you want minimal pain post-surgery and we are well equipped to help you accomplish that safely. In light of the addictive nature of opioids and being fully aware of the opioid crisis facing our nation, Dr. Raval has routinely prescribed Celebrex for several years.

Celebrex after facelifts

What is Celebrex?

Celebrex is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) – specifically a COX-2 inhibitor. It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. It has been shown to help avoid the need for opioids and is effective for pain relief. In a 2014 review of 100 facelift patient recoveries, half used Celebrex and half did not. Findings revealed that post-operative pain was diminished and thus the need for opioid medication was reduced for Celebrex users. Researchers wrote that “treatment with [Celebrex] appears to be effective in decreasing acute postoperative pain and opioid consumption in patients undergoing facelift.”

Celebrex Side Effects

Before taking any medication, you should always be aware of possible side effects. Those that are possible when taking Celebrex are similar to those of most other NSAIDs and include:

  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Swelling of feet or hands
  • Body aches
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble sleeping

If you experience any of these symptoms, they will likely be mild. When we compare them to the side effects of opiate use, we begin to see that Celebrex is a much better option. Short term side effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed breathing and respiratory issues
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Impaired concentration
  • Confusion
  •  Sleep & memory problems

Because the use of opiates typically extends beyond the length of time you would use Celebrex, we must consider long-term effects:

  • Physical dependence
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Addiction
  • Tolerance (meaning the user needs to take higher and higher dosages for effective pain relief)

All patients are unique and some may have more or less acute pain than others. Healing happens at varying rates and depends on your health at the time of the surgery. But, in Dr. Raval’s experience, patients who have less post-operative pain tend to heal more quickly and recover faster than patients who suffer from more pain. Patient care-centered surgeons, like Dr. Raval can help reduce the risks of acute pain and opioid side effects by prescribing drugs that were developed as a safer alternative. Dr. Raval develops a post-operative care course based on each individual patient. He sees patients regularly during the healing process to respond dynamically and strategically to pain, side effects, and symptoms.

 You can learn more about his office’s approach to excellent patient care by reviewing his surgical procedures, reviewing before-and-after photos and watching videos of Dr. Raval demonstrating his techniques with satisfied patients. For more information or to schedule an appointment for consultation, call (303) 381-FACE (3223).


Behrad B. Aynehchi, Eric W. Cerrati, and David B. Rosenberg, “The Efficacy of Oral Celecoxib for Acute Postoperative Pain in Face-lift Surgery,” JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2014, July 10.

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Topics: Facelifts