The thought of going through colorectal surgery can be a daunting one for patients. Patients are told all sorts of rules about preparing themselves for surgery. Most of these rules are cautionary in nature, “don’t eat this…don’t do that…make sure you do not…” All these restrictions can be incredibly stressful to keep track of. More stress is certainly one thing colorectal surgery patients do not need more of.
In order to quell the stress experienced by patients doctors introduced a protocol that focuses on what patients should be doing before surgery rather than what they should not be doing. This protocol is known as the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery protocol, or ERAS.
ERAS is designed to help patients prepare for their surgery with a focus on reducing post operative hospital stays. ERAS’s goal is to get patients into surgery safely and out of the hospital sooner so that they can resume their regular activities.
This patient centered protocol, utilized at SGLA, recommends that patients should increase their carbohydrate consumption prior to surgery and reduce the fasting period prior to surgery. This helps ensure that patients are strong and full of energy prior to their surgery, giving them a head start on the recover process.
This protocol extends to post surgery care as well, allowing for patients to recover sooner. Post surgery, patients are given regular food earlier, pausing their bodies to resume normal function. Patients will also be asked to partake in light activity like walking. This light activity pushes the body to begin moving, resuming normal function.
The surgeons at SGLA believe that patient care needs to be patient centered. This means adopting protocols that help patients manage the stress of surgery. Going through an operative procedure can be a lot for patients to handle. Providing these patients with a list of recommendations, rather than restrictions, ensures that patients can experience the least amount of stress possible.