The benefits of Enhance Recovery After Surgery program

Patients at the Georgia Cancer Center are seeing the benefits of a program that is speeding up the recovery process for those with colorectal cancer. FOX 54 spoke to health experts about the program that is helping patients before, during, and after surgery.

It is called "Enhanced Recovery After Surgery," a program that results in fewer complications after surgeries, shorter hospital stay, and reduces health care cost. Doctors and other health officials work together to re-examine their traditional practices and replace them with evidence based best practices.
Enhanced Recovery After Surgery actually starts before the surgery. Traditionally, a patient is given an appointment for surgery and told they are not to eat or drink for a minimum of twelve hours. In return, not eating or drinking makes the body dehydrated which is bad because it affects the ability for the body to face surgery. However, with the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery program, patients are asked to eat and to drink electrolytes before surgery and they are given a special liquid.

(WFXG) - "We give them a special type of nutritional formula called Impact. It is a balanced formula that is designed to enhance and boost your immune system. The ability of your internal body structure to fight off infection and cancer takes somewhere between five to seven days", explains Doctor Daniel Albo who is the Chairman of Surgery at the Georgia Cancer Center.

Patients are also given a cleansing solution to wash the surface of the body that is going to be affected by the surgery to decrease bacterial infection. And during the surgery, medicine is injected after the patient is asleep to prevent remembering pain.
Traditionally, colorectal cancer patients take one to two weeks to recover. However, with the program that decreases to one or two days.
Patient Demetrise Williams says recovery was extremely important to her. "My son was in the process of planning a wedding. All these thoughts were going through my head... 'Am I going to be here to see it?' I have a grandson who just turned a year old. Being able to attend my son's wedding meant everything and going through that program I was able to recover quicker."
Before her last surgery, Williams says the program was unfamiliar to her but she encourages those who have colorectal cancer to give it a try.

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