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Home > Services > Surgery > Recovering From Surgery

Recovering From Surgery

At UVA, we have recently started implementing a new protocol, ERAS, to help you recover from colorectal and gynecologic surgeries

What is ERAS? 

ERAS stands for Enhanced Recovery After Surgery and describes a new way of caring for you before, during and after surgery. 

You will be actively involved in the process of your own recovery. 

ERAS will help you:

  • Recover sooner
  • Leave the hospital faster 
  • Have fewer complications after surgery

How Does Enhanced Recovery Work?

The following components enhance recovery outcomes:

  • Preparing and planning for surgery
  • Reducing physical stress
  • Limiting narcotics
  • Encouraging early eating and walking 

ERAS Education

Patient education is an important part of ERAS. 

What you can expect:

  • A free handbook at your initial clinic visit
  • A conversation with your doctor about the procedure, which answers your questions about the surgery process

Download the ERAS patient handbook for:

Patient-Centered Care

We will give you a checklist to track your surgery recovery progress. This will help you track, monitor and manage your recovery, allowing us to collaborate with you on finding what works best for your specific needs. 

View and download the ERAS checklist you need:

Pain Management

Enhanced recovery requires pain management.

We will create a personalized pain management plan for you before surgery. 

We will limit the amount of opioids (narcotics) used, as they can actually slow down the recovery process. Instead, we will use other pain medications.

Early Mobility and Feeding

After surgery, you will be able to eat as soon as you are ready. We will encourage you to get out of bed and move around as soon as possible.

The sooner you’re eating and able to move normally, the sooner you will be able to go home. 

Preoperative Gatorade

Drinking Gatorade prior to the operation will help your body get the energy it needs to be ready for surgery. 

Fluid Management

We will only give you as much fluid as you need. 

We also use a very specific tool to help to manage how much IV fluid we give you during surgery. This helps prevent fluid overload and bloating after surgery.

Learn More About ERAS

Watch this video about ERAS for colorectal surgery.

Listen to a Podcast

Want to know more about ERAS?

Listen to Traci Hedrick, MD, discuss how ERAS works.