SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Avera Health has started a procedure that uses a patient's DNA to help select medications to reduce pain after orthopedic surgery.

The practice is part of the growing field of personalized medicine, where a blood sample indicating genetic makeup can pinpoint drug treatments that will work and others that won't.

The Argus Leader reports Avera is doing it as a pilot project for patients who need shoulder, hip, knee and other orthopedic surgeries at two of its hospitals, Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls and Queen of Peace in Mitchell.

Avera hopes to expand it someday to its other hospitals in Yankton, Aberdeen, Pierre and Marshall, Minn., and to use it in other situations such as cancer care and heart surgery.

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