Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS®) encompasses specific procedures put into place before and after your surgery to lower your risks, promote your health, and accelerate your recovery. In fact, recovery time and complication rates can be shortened by 30% or more when M. Jonathan Worsey, MD, FRCS, FACS, FASCRS, and Keith Beiermeister, MD, FACS, FASCRS, at San Diego Colon and Rectal Surgeons in La Jolla, California, implement ERAS.

If colorectal surgery is in your future, call or schedule an appointment online to learn more about ERAS.

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What is Enhanced Recovery After Surgery?

ERAS refers to implementing the best evidence-based practices to shorten your recovery time and reduce the possibility of complications developing after surgery. The ERAS Society establishes guidelines for each medical specialty, including colorectal surgeons, outlining the rules that encourage your best health.

The goal of ERAS is to return to good health, restore your function, and help you get back to your active lifestyle as soon as possible after surgery. They accomplish this goal by taking precise steps before, during, and after your surgery.

What happens during my Enhanced Recovery After Surgery program?

Dr. Worsey and Dr. Beiermeister work with your surgical team to reduce the stress on your body during surgery and aid in a faster recovery.

ERAS raises the expected level of care provided in most hospitals by putting into action procedures like:

  • Easing up on fasting requirements before surgery
  • Giving you a carbohydrate drink before surgery
  • Treating you with antibiotics and acid suppressants before surgery
  • Avoiding excessive narcotic medications during and after surgery
  • Doing minimally invasive surgery whenever possible
  • Providing nutritional supplements after surgery
  • Encouraging you to walk as soon as possible
  • Encouraging you to eat and drink shortly after surgery

Here are a few of the reasons why the things on this list improve your recovery from colorectal surgery. Limiting fasting and giving patients a carbohydrate drink before surgery helps them maintain muscle strength, speeds up your recovery, and can often shorten your time in the hospital.

Narcotic medications are limited, with an emphasis on non-narcotic pain medications because they don’t slow down your bowel function. Getting a boost of nutrition right after surgery supports healing. And encouraging you to drink fluids and eat restores your intestinal function.

What is my role in Enhanced Recovery After Surgery?

Taking an active role in your ERAS goes a long way toward improving your recovery and helping you get back into action as early as possible.

You will receive personalized information about the steps you can take before and after surgery to support your own health. But as a general guideline, your ERAS involves following a healthy diet, exercising, and stopping smoking and drinking.

Alcohol abuse gives a 2-3 times higher risk of bleeding and developing wound, heart, and lung complications than those who don’t overconsume alcohol. Stopping one month before your surgery significantly reduces your risks.

The team at San Diego Colon and Rectal Surgeons pioneered Enhanced Recovery After Surgery in the entire Scripps system to ensure your safety and provide the best care possible after your surgery. To learn more, call the office or book an appointment online.