Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)

We know that surgery can be a big step in your health journey. And recovery after surgery can seem like a long, hard road back to normal. But we can make your journey quicker and easier by using Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS).

What is ERAS?

ERAS is a program that improves your surgery experience. It helps you get as healthy as possible before surgery (optimization) and helps you recover sooner. That way life returns to normal as quickly as possible.

This special plan reduces stress on your body during and after surgery. Our goal is to get you back on your feet and back to your life as soon as possible. With ERAS, you’ll:

  • Heal faster
  • Need fewer medicines
  • Get home sooner
  • Have fewer problems during recovery
  • Return to normal activities sooner
  • Feel better overall

We'll help you:

  • Plan and prepare for your surgery
  • Reduce the physical stress of the surgery itself
  • Create a pain relief plan that reduces narcotic pain medications that can slow down recovery
  • Return to your normal diet and get you up and walking soon after surgery

We'll walk you through what to expect before, during, and after surgery. You'll get:

  • A handbook that outlines what to expect
  • A checklist for tasks along your surgical journey

    Enhanced Recovery After Surgery at UVA Health: Your Role

    ERAS is a science-based plan for a quick recovery. Our whole team works together with you on this plan. That way, you know what to do and when to do it. It’s important that you follow the plan as outlined by your care team.

    Getting Ready for Surgery

    ERAS starts before your surgery. You’ll need to make sure you're as healthy as possible going into surgery. We’ll give you instructions and support to make sure you’re:

    • Physically active to prepare your body for surgery.
    • Eating a healthy diet and getting the right nutrients to allow you to heal faster
    • Stopping smoking so that your lungs recover faster

    On the Day of Your Surgery

    When you get to the hospital on the day of your surgery, we'll give you a combination of pain-relieving medications. These help to control your pain and reduce the need for narcotic medications that can slow down recovery.

    Recovery After Surgery

    Once your surgery is over, your recovery plan includes:

    • Medicines to keep you comfortable
    • A plan to get you out of bed and moving quickly
    • A guide for eating and drinking safely

    At Home

    Your care plan continues when you get home. Eating right, taking your medicine, and watching yourself for any issues will help you get back to normal that much faster. Follow your ERAS instructions and make sure you go to any follow-up appointments for your recovery.

    If you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming surgery or the ERAS plan, you can check your ERAS handbook for answers. Don't hesitate to reach out to talk to your care team. We're here for you every step of the way.