Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS)

ERAS is the term given to a collection of interventions that have been shown to improve the short-term outcomes after major surgery.  Combined with laparoscopic bowel surgery, patients can gain considerable benefits when compared with more traditional (“old school”) recovery methods.

There are around 20 components that make up ERAS.  The ERAS protocol begins before the patient is admitted to hospital for their operation.  Essentially it involves patients being aware of what to expect after their surgery and how their recovery should progress.  Patients are not starved pre-operatively; instead, they are given a carbohydrate-loading drink 2 hours pre-operatively to minimize the hormonal stress response that occurs during surgery.  Effective pain-relief for the immediate post-operative phase allows patients to be comfortable enough to breath deeply (minimizing chest infections) and to mobilize (to prevent deep venous thrombosis [DVT]).  Patients are encouraged to drink and eat as soon as possible after the operation, since maintaining a normally functioning gut has been shown to minimize complications.

Our surgeons employ ERAS for their patients undergoing bowel operations.  For more information please refer to http://www.erassociety.org/.

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