A program that’s helping patients recover quicker after surgery is taking off in Lee County. Dr. Jeffery Neal, a colorectal surgeon on the medical staff of Lee Health, says ERAS is changing the way patients prepare for surgery. “It lets them know this is the prep that you’re going to take, this is what we expect you to do before you come to the hospital, what’s going to happen after the surgery while you’re in the hospital.”
ERAS stands for enhanced recovery after surgery. It educates patients on what to expect before and after surgery. “They feel more involved in their care overall. That goes from their exercising before their surgery, they are getting various supplements that help decrease wound infection, and they just understand their role in the surgery,” said Dr. Neal.
The first patients to participate in the ERAS program are those undergoing colorectal and upper GI surgeries. Two weeks before surgery patients take a two hour class educating them on what their recovery will be like. “It’s so patients can have an earlier discharge from the hospital, a better recovery, more understanding of what they’re going to the hospital for, and preoperative education to help ease anxiety for their procedure,” said Dr. Neal.
In addition to calming the patient’s nerves, doctors have also noticed a decrease in a patient’s hospital stay and a decrease in complications after surgery. “When you’re looking at someone who can recover in the hospital in three or four days instead of five or six, that’s substantial,” said Dr. Neal.
The program teaches patients to take initiative in modifying their diet, exercise, and medicine before surgery in order to help them return to normal life quickly after surgery.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.