Enhanced recovery pathways are important because they allow the human body to be as normal physiologically as it can be while undergoing the stress of surgery, explained Jamie Bakkum-Gamez, MD, associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and gynecologic oncologist at Mayo Clinic.
What are enhanced recovery pathways and why are they so important?
So, enhanced recovery is an approach that is multi-modal and multi-disciplinary that includes preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative elements to basically allow the human body to be as normal physiologically as it can be while undergoing the stress of surgery.
This approach is an evidence-based approach and/or best practices kind of all bundled together maintaining euvolemia—which means we don't want to get our patients dehydrated before surgery, or over-hydrate them in the operating room—maintaining the excellent pain control and minimizing the opioid exposure because that allows for bowel recovery to be quicker; it also allows for patients to be at lower risk for becoming opioid dependent, and then early ambulation and early feeding so that their body basically gets back to as kind of the normal physiology as quickly as possible. We don't want the body breaking down good muscle mass—which is the term catabolism—we don't want catabolism, we want patients to basically be rebuilding after the stress of surgery.