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ERAS® stands for
Enhanced Recovery After Surgery.
Implemented in Singapore at Tan Tock Seng Hospital in 2016, ERAS® is a surgical care program that improves recovery through an evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach.
ERAS® aims to reduce stress on the body from surgery and to maintain reserves. This is done through strategies before, during and after surgery.
ERAS® guidelines are in place to standardise care to achieve better outcomes.
Faster functional recovery
Decrease post-surgical complications
Decrease hospital length of stay
Decrease in readmission rates
Immediately after surgery, patient’s function declines. Hence with the ERAS® strategies introduced, physiological reserves prior to surgery are increased by measures such as nutrition and exercise. The impact of surgery is also mitigated.
ERAS® interventions during patient's perioperative journey include:
The journey begins when surgery has been decided at the clinic. The team provides support through education, allaying anxiety and encouraging patients in proactively preparing for surgery.
Patients play an important role in preparing before surgery.
Smoking and alcohol consumption can increase the risk of post-operative complications.
Stop smoking and alcohol intake at least two weeks before your surgery.
Your body needs to be in optimal condition to recover from a major surgery.
You may be prescribed supplemental nutrition drinks by your doctor to be taken several days leading up to your surgey.
Condition your body by exercising regularly. If you are not doing so, start by introducing simple exercises into your daily routine.
Simple exercises like a 30 minute walk is better than being physically inactive. Staying fit helps your body recover faster from the stress of surgery.
Sometimes, patients may be prescribed with a simple breathing exercise tool called the Incentive Spirometer (image, right). Use it when performing deep breathing exercises.
Breathe out normally, then do the following:
Collaboration among the multiple disciplines working towards the common goal of patient-centred care is essential in ERAS®. This is vastly different from conventional care carried out by segregated groups in the past.
The ERAS® team includes committed staff from the departments of Anaesthesia, Dietetics, Nursing, Operations, Physiotherapy and Surgery working together to see you through the entire journey.
In 2016, ERAS® was piloted for Colorectal Surgery patients and the outcomes of the study showed positive results. This led to 2018 ERAS® principles being adopted by Pancreatic Surgery and Upper GI and in 2019, by Breast Reconstruction, Head and Neck Surgery as well as for Total Knee Replacement.