Research At-a-Glance:  The Benefit of an ERAS Protocol in Pediatric Surgeries

Research At-a-Glance: The Benefit of an ERAS Protocol in Pediatric Surgeries

Did you know? 

This study found that implementation of a pediatric enhanced recovery (ERAS) pathway decreases opioid utilization and shortens time to full feeding. 

In other words…

Pediatric patients who followed an ERAS® pathway before surgery didn’t need as many opioids and were ultimately able to begin eating again after surgery faster than patients who didn’t follow an ERAS program. 

Wait—what’s an ERAS program?
Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (or ERAS®) is focused on facilitating a faster, smoother recovery after surgery by taking steps to reduce the amount of stress the body undergoes during surgery. In general, ERAS programs are comprised of 17 key protocols for your doctors to follow—like the use of short-acting anesthetic agents and fluid-fasting in place of the traditional “no food or drink after midnight” rule. 

In the case of the study, the ERAS pathway involved minimal pre-op fasting, multimodal and regional analgesia (an approach to pain-management that strategically combines two or more types of pain-killers to improve pain control while reducing side effects), and early enteral nutrition (tube feeding) after surgery.

What you can do…

If you or your child are getting ready to undergo surgery, ask your doctor if her hospital uses ERAS programs or protocols. If so, talk to her about the possibility of following an ERAS program as part of your or your loved one’s procedure—as today’s research shows this might help decrease your need for opioid painkillers and get back to eating normally faster after surgery.  


Want even more pre-surgery help? Browse the rest of the Mend Well blog for empowering patient information, helpful nutrition advice, and at-a-glance medical tips.