Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS)
But what many patients don’t realise is that there is a huge amount YOU can do to help yourselves make a speedy recovery with the minimum of side-effects.
The ERAS programme provides patients with ‘gold standard care’ to get them back on their feet as quickly as possible following an operation. Based on medical evidence, this approach to care sets out clear steps doctors, nurses and patients themselves can take to make surgery as stress-free as possible.
From getting physically into shape before surgery to what you should eat and drink before an operation to help you recover from the anaesthetic, to how quickly you should be getting out of bed and exercising following surgery, the ERAS programme explains everything you need to know to make a speedy recovery.
However, it is not suitable for everyone and must be recommended by your Consultant.
Click on the graphic on the left hand side to view the graphic. Find out more about ERAS by viewing our leaflet here
We have a Multidisciplinary ERAS team who all work together to support your recovery, including:
Read our recommendations below for before, during and after the surgery:
- The ERAS programme starts before the patient is admitted to the hospital.
- Patients are advised to be as healthy as possible before an operation – increasing their exercise regime if possible, stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake and improving their diet - this is because fitness can really help with recovery after surgery.
- Before the operation, the ERAS programme recommends patients to have a special lemon-flavoured carbohydrate drink called “PreOp”.
- Research shows these drinks reduce the stress surgeries puts on the body and aids a faster rehabilitation.
- During the operation, the aim is to adopt approaches that will help the patient’s recovery.
- For example, wounds should be as small as possible with less drains and catheters to reduce the chance of infections developing.
- After the operation, drips and drains should be taken out as soon as possible, and patients are encouraged to get out of bed even on the day of surgery.
- They are also encouraged to walk and exercise at least four times every day.
- ERAS recommends patients to spend at least four hours out of bed on the first day after surgery and then a minimum of eight hours daily every day after that.
- Drinking normally on the first day after surgery is also advised to prevent dehydration.
- Protein and high energy drinks can also help the body heal and patients should drink at least two a day.
- Deep breathing and circulation exercises are recommended as soon as possible after surgery - this is because the anaesthetic can affect the lungs so that they do not open as fully as normal making patients vulnerable to chest infections, and slow down circulation putting patients at risk of deep vein thrombosis. These exercises should be performed every hour.
- Finally, on enhanced recovery the amount of opioid drugs (strong pain-killers) will be kept to a minimum, resulting in fewer side effects and a faster recovery.
- At any stage, stronger pain medication can be arranged with no effect on the ERAS pathway. So don’t worry! Just let someone know if your pain is not controlled.