News Headlines Article

Patients Bounce Back Faster From Surgery With Hospitals’ New Protocol
The Wall Street Journal

Hospitals are starting to abandon the time-honored drill for surgery patients — including fasting, heavy IV fluids, powerful post-op narcotics and bed rest — amid growing evidence that the lack of nutrients, fluid overload and drug side effects can do more harm than good.

Instead, they are turning to “enhanced recovery” protocols that are easier on patients, help them get better faster with fewer infections and other complications and reduce health-care costs.

The changes, pioneered in Europe over the past 15 years, now are being adopted more widely in the U.S. Though the evidence is strongest in colorectal surgery, the approach is being used with an increasing range of procedures including hip fracture and joint replacements and surgeries for bladder, pancreas, liver and breast cancer.