Surgery of any kind, even a minor procedure, presents a fair amount of challenges and some risk. Though the goal of most surgeries is to improve your health and your quality of life, the road there can be a bumpy one. Recognizing the need for better care, a group of surgical experts embarked on a mission to make the road to recovery smoother through a concerted effort that’s helping people around the world recover more quickly and successfully.
Called Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS), our team here at Premier Women’s Care of Southwest Florida embraces the effort and applies the protocol to our own surgical procedures.
Here’s a look at what ERAS is and what it can accomplish.
The history behind ERAS
ERAS was first discussed in the late 1990s by Professor Henrik Kehlet, who recognized that there was a wide range of practices when it came to surgical care, before, during, and after. The professor raised the idea that rather than relying on traditional practices, surgeons should instead be given a set of best practices, which can be applied across the surgical board for better care.
This idea was formalized by the ERAS Society and has since changed the way many surgical practices approach their care and, more importantly, it’s successfully changed the outcomes for patients around the world.
The goal of ERAS
At the heart of ERAS is a multimodal, multidisciplinary approach to caring for the patient, before, during, and after the surgery. This team effort brings together the surgeon, the anesthetist, and the support staff, and also includes an ERAS coordinator, who is often a nurse or a physician assistant.
Though this concept may seem simple enough on the outside, all too often each of these surgical participants worked in a type of vacuum, considering only their piece of the puzzle. By introducing an overriding protocol in which everyone works from the same page toward the same goal, this bigger-picture thinking benefits the patient in every way.
For example, when ERAS is implemented, hospital stays decrease by 30-50%, and there are also reductions in complications.
To give you an idea of ERAS in practice, the following are a few of the protocols that medical staff implement when using ERAS for postoperative care:
- Earlier mobilization
- Earlier transition to oral pain medications
- Removing drains and tubes earlier
- Introducing food sooner
There’s ample evidence that these protocols encourage faster healing and recovery, allowing the human body to do what it does best — heal from the inside out.
ERAS at our practice
We wholly embrace ERAS protocols from start to finish for all of our surgeries. Prior to your surgery, we ensure that you’re well-educated and prepped for your surgery.
During your procedure, we use the latest surgical techniques, including laparoscopic and robot-assisted techniques, that greatly reduce the collateral damage, risk, and recovery time.
Following your procedure, we ensure that you have the tools you need to heal as quickly as possible and with the best outcome. Through ERAS, we’re accomplishing just that, allowing our patients to get back to their lives.
If you’d like to learn more about ERAS and how it’s applied at our practice, please contact one of our offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Lehigh Acres, Florida, through our easy online scheduling tool.