A new era in preparation and recovery from bowel surgery is being introduced at Tauranga Hospital.
The Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) programme is based around anaesthetic and surgical protocols which have been developed to reduce the stress of surgery, to improve pain relief and to enhance patient recovery.
Tauranga project manager of surgical services Wendy Carey says the programme, which was originally developed in Denmark, benefits both patients and staff.
She says it is an exciting project to be delivering to the Bay of Plenty and Midland District Health Boards.
“It involves applying many principles to the patient care and these range from keeping the patient from being hungry and thirsty prior to surgery, to managing their pain and any nausea well so that they are able to start eating and drinking following their operation.”
The aim of the programme is to get people out of bed and walking about the ward the day after their operation, says Wendy.
She says patients are well informed before their surgery about what to expect each day of their recovery and are involved in tracking their progress.
In the last year, Tauranga and Whakatane Hospitals combined carried out a total of 137 bowel operations.
“Patients requiring this surgery do not go onto a waiting list as this is often surgery that needs to be completed urgently or timed to fit in with other treatments.”
Wendy says the majority of patients are seen at pre-admission clinics, where they meet with a nurse, an anaesthetist, and other specialised staff as necessary.
This is to ensure the patient is fit to have the operation, they understand all that will happen in hospital and there is a plan in place for discharge.