About the ComfortSafe Pyramid®

ComfortSafe anesthesia is similar to traditional anesthesia but uses shorter-acting medications so you can wake up faster and get home sooner. Narcotics are avoided, or used in greatly reduced doses, so nausea is far less likely to occur. When you are under anesthesia, the ComfortSafe Pyramid is used to guide your surgical and anesthesia teams in selecting the best non-narcotic pain medications for you. You can be confident that you will awaken safely and comfortably. All types of surgical procedures can be performed with ComfortSafe anesthesia.

“After undergoing two surgeries to treat a cancer condition, I feel lucky to have been introduced to Dr. Joseph Myers and his new technique.  The ComfortSafe general anesthesia is impressive!  My recovery for both surgeries was relatively easy with no side effects from the anesthesia.  I woke up feeling well and fully alert which, in my view, contributed to my optimal physical and emotional recovery. Thank you, Dr. Myers!” - Erika

 ComfortSafe Pyramid

Benefits of ComfortSafe Pyramid

Patients whose anesthesia is guided by the ComfortSafe Pyramid typically:

  • Awaken more rapidly
  • Experience less pain
  • Experience less nausea
  • Experience less confusion
  • Reduce their risk of narcotic addiction
  • Often return home sooner

Which patients will benefit most from the ComfortSafe Pyramid?

  • Those who have experienced postoperative nausea and vomiting after previous anesthetics
  • Elderly patients who wish to avoid prolonged confusion following anesthesia
  • Those that are at high risk for further reliance on narcotics
  • Morbidly obese patients, especially those with obstructive sleep apnea who use CPAP
  • Critically ill, oxygen-dependent patients

Why choose the ComfortSafe Pyramid at MedStar Georgetown?

The ComfortSafe Pyramid emphasizes the team approach to patient care and safety. By assuring communication between the anesthesia and surgical teams in selecting your pain medications, the ComfortSafe Pyramid optimizes patient comfort while avoiding the adverse effects of narcotics. The technique is used exclusively at MedStar Georgetown.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

What are narcotics?

Narcotics are pain killers such as morphine and oxycodone that are used to treat severe pain. They are traditionally used throughout the anesthetic and perioperative perioid.

What are the side effects of narcotics?

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Difficulty or slowed breathing
  • Constipation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Addiction

What medications does the ComfortSafe Pyramid direct the surgical and anesthesia teams to choose instead of narcotics?

Pain medications such as IV acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ketorolac (Toradol) are commonly used in combination with local anesthetics like bupivacaine (Marcaine, Exparel®) Other medications and techniques are also considered within the ComfortSafe Pyramid checklist to create a “multimodal” strategy for relieving pain and minimizing side effects. 

What if non-narcotic medications don’t relieve my pain?

If non-narcotic medications do not provide adequate pain relief, then narcotics, which work very rapidly, are immediately available.  Since the non-narcotic pain medications would already be providing some effect, you would likely require far less narcotic and have less chance of developing side effects.

Meet Dr. Myers

Patient Story: Comfort Safe & Breast Surgery – Cathy Kalimon’s Story