As COVID-19 is now a part of our daily lives, it’s so important patients do everything they can to ensure their body is strong and healthy as they enter a hospital setting for surgery. Today, then, we’re diving deep into ERAS® (Enhanced Recovery After Surgery) and why it’s more important now than ever. Read on for everything you need to know about a safe surgery and strong recovery—even during the crazy times of Coronavirus!
What is ERAS?
We’re glad you asked! Enhanced Recovery After Surgery—known in the medical field as ERAS—is a program all about facilitating a faster recovery by taking proactive steps before surgery to reduce the amount of stress the body undergoes during surgery.
What is the ERAS program?
ERAS programs focus on implementing different practices to ensure recovering from your procedure is as safe, healthy, and seamless as it can be. These programs are comprised of 17 key elements for your doctors to follow—like pre-admission counseling for patients, the use of short-acting anaesthetic agents, and fluid-fasting with a presurgery drink in place of the traditional “no food or drink after midnight” fast. When you and your doctor follow the elements of an ERAS program, they work together to ensure better surgical outcomes and—just like its name says—an enhanced recovery after surgery.
Why does ERAS matter more now?
There are a few reasons following ERAS is more important during COVID-19 than it’s ever before been (though we’d argue it’s always pretty darn important!).
- The first is that surgery stresses and suppresses your immune system, which isn’t ideal as hospitals are battling COVID-19. If you have to be stuck in a hospital for surgery during a pandemic, you want to make sure your immune system is as strong as it can be to handle any unwelcome invaders that might come its way—and following an ERAS program is one of the most effective ways you can do this. (Psst..check out a few other ways you can give your immune system a boost before surgery).
- The second is that getting out of a hospital fast is pivotal in the midst of a pandemic. Both for your safety (most importantly!) and to help keep resources available for COVID patients, you don’t want to spend any more time than is necessary in a hospital bed. The great news is that ERAS programs are proven to shorten hospital stays. In fact, according to a PubMed analysis of randomized trials, “Three of four included studies showed significantly shorter primary lengths of stay for patients enrolled in enhanced recovery programs.” So, following an ERAS program is a great way to get you out of those scratchy hospital sheets and back home safely, faster.
How can I implement ERAS protocols before my surgery?
The act of undergoing anesthesia is super stressful on the human body. Because of this, the idea behind ERAS is to prepare our bodies for that stressful experience in a more purposeful way than we have in the past. There are a number of things you can do to implement an ERAS protocol before your surgery, including:
- Quit smoking and avoid alcohol
- Exercise and lose weight if needed
- Make healthy dietary choices and implement a presurgery nutrition plan before your procedure
- Replace the “nothing from midnight” rule with a specific fluid fast with CF(PreOp)®
Psst…lingering on that last bullet-point and wondering why ERAS has you replace the nothing-from-midnight fast with a fluid fast using a clinical nutrition drink like CF(PreOp)®? Practices that have patients refrain from eating or drinking anything after midnight are outdated and can lead to post-op nausea and vomiting (PONV) amongst other issues. Instead, modern medical research points to the fact that replacing the old-school nothing-from-midnight fast with a clear, carbohydrate-rich beverage leads to a reduced risk of aspiration, a decreased chance of PONV, a faster recovery, and a shortened overall hospital stay. Sign us up!
Ready to start working doctor-trusted, patient-preferred premium clinical nutrition into your everyday diet as you focus on following proven ERAS protocols for your upcoming procedure? You can order CF(PreOp)® here or CF(Protein)® here. And, as always, don’t hesitate to reach out to the ClearFast team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions at all. We’re always here and happy to help!