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Thoracic Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)

Johannes KratzHaro, GregLed by Johannes R. Kratz, M.D., Director, Advanced Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery and Resident Physican Greg J. Haro, M.D., the Thoracic  Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Program is being utilized to improve the overall patient experience before, during, and after surgery by applying the latest methods in surgical care.

The UCSF Thoracic ERAS Program was developed and implemented in fall 2017 for patients undergoing lung or esophagus surgery. 

Key Elements

The core components of the program are:

  • Revamped education with an emphasis on diagnosis, surgical procedure, and expectations for recovery after surgery from the patient perspective
  • Increased use of minimally-invasive, robot-assisted surgery
  • Comprehensive pain management strategy that reduces pain after surgery while minimizing the use of opioids
  • Accelerated recovery with scheduled in-hospital physical and occupational therapy
  • Standardization of care to prevent potential complications, such as pneumonia or wound infections
  • Reduced time spent in the hospital allowing for recovery at home with family and friends

Results of Implementation

More than 150 patients have received care based upon the program since implementation one-and-a-half years ago, and the program has been a resounding success.  The results of the program were presented and well-received at the Academic Surgical Congress in Houston, Texas this past winter 2019*.  With the implementation of the Thoracic ERAS Program, patients now have shortened hospitalizations, better pain control, fewer complications, and are returning to normal life activities sooner. Given the program’s success, it is now being expanded to include our cardiac surgery patients.

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