Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS®) Refresher Course
A very Happy New Year to all of our loyal Mend Well readers! We’re back on the record at the start of this shiny new decade, and like any other new year we are taking stock of the past and looking forward to new possibilities. It’s a great time to re-focus on our mission of empowering patients to take a healthy amount of ownership over their surgery experiences and push for better overall health.
So, let’s have a short refresher course on the patient-focused Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) principles and why we’ve centered Mend Well around them. They play a big role when it comes to better patient experiences and outcomes.
What is ERAS® again?
Basically, it’s surgery with a plan to recover quickly. According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, “Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS®) refers to patient-centered, evidence-based, multidisciplinary team developed pathways for a surgical specialty and facility culture to reduce the patient’s surgical stress response, optimize their physiologic function, and facilitate recovery.”
Translation: Research (20+ years worth) has shown that the decisions made leading up to surgery, during surgery, and immediately after surgery can reduce patient risk, shorten the time spent in the hospital, and improve recovery overall! While some of these decisions are made by your surgical team, many are within your control as a patient and they have a much bigger impact than you might think!
So, I should participate in my surgery journey?
That’s right… your responsibility before and after surgery reaches farther than just showing up on time and scheduling a ride home. Surgery brings physical and emotional stress into your life, and the stronger you are going in, the more likely you are to bounce back quickly!
Think of it this way: a marathon runner can’t expect to show up on the day of the race and perform well when they haven’t spent time preparing their body and mind for the challenge! The same goes for surgery. Preparing for surgery in line with Enhanced Recovery protocols includes:
- Losing weight if needed
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding alcohol
- Making healthy eating choices and boosting your nutrition in the weeks before surgery
- Replacing “from-midnight” fasting with a clear, complex-carb beverage instead
And there you have it. At Mend Well, we’ll be spending 2020 bringing you more awesome and practical tips on how to actually do all of the above!