Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)

No matter how well done, surgery is always hard on the body. It’s an invasive change in the way your system works. With modern methods, we’ve learned to minimize the impact of surgery, and that’s what Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) is all about.

ERAS is a set of guidelines that change the way hospitals care for patients throughout the process—from pre-admission all the way to post-surgical care.

How ERAS works

The ERAS approach serves several purposes:

  • Lowers opioid use. With less use of opioids at every step of the process, hospitals can lower the risk of long-term use and abuse.
  • Reduces length of stay. On average, length of stay decreases by three to four days.
  • Reduces 30-day patient readmissions and costs. By lessening the impact of surgery and providing better support at each step of the process, patients are less likely to return to the hospital.
  • Allows patients to return to normal activities faster. Because the impact of the surgery is lessened, patients are able to go back to their daily lives faster.

With advances in surgery, medical professionals are able to do things like microsurgery and less invasive techniques. For example, heart problems that used to require open heart surgery can now often be solved with no more than a small incision.

Anesthetic use is one of the big changes, too. Many procedures used to involve putting the patient all the way under and prescribing opioids for the postoperative pain, but now anesthesiologists are using more nerve blocks and regional anesthesia instead of full general anesthesia. That approach combined with non-prescription approaches to pain management have a significant impact on patient outcomes.

Advances in the way we think about fluids and food in surgery help too. Complete fasting isn’t always necessary and can be counterintuitive, and newer approaches can minimize anxiety and increase postoperative recovery.

Advances in surgical approaches and use of anesthesia save time and money for everyone involved and lessen the risk of catastrophic opioid abuse or withdrawal. With ERAS, patients can return to a normal life quicker with less impact. Medical professionals will be involved both before and after surgery helping with preparation and rehab.

Oklahoma Heart Hospital and ERAS

At Oklahoma Heart Hospital we use ERAS to take care of you at every step of the surgery process. We’ll help you get back on your feet as soon as we can so that you can go back to normal daily life sooner than usual. If you need cardiovascular surgery, give us a call today and find out what we can do for your cardiac health.