Surgery Websites

Thoracic Surgery Pathway

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) programs are utilized to improve the overall patient experience before, during, and after surgery by applying the latest methods in surgical care. The UCSF Thoracic ERAS Program was developed and implemented in fall 2017 for patients undergoing lung or esophagus surgery. The core components of the program include:

  • Revamped education with an emphasis on diagnosis, surgical procedure, and expectations for recovery after surgery from the patient perspective
  • Increased use of minimally-invasive, robot-assisted surgery
  • Comprehensive pain management strategy that reduces pain after surgery while minimizing the use of opioids
  • Accelerated recovery with scheduled in-hospital physical and occupational therapy
  • Standardization of care to prevent potential complications, such as pneumonia or wound infections
  • Reduced time spent in the hospital allowing for recovery at home with family and friends

More than 150 patients have received care based upon the program since implementation one-and-a-half years ago, and the program has been a resounding success. The results of the program were presented and well-received at the Academic Surgical Congress in Houston, Texas this past winter 2019*. Compared to before the program, patients now have shortened hospitalizations, better pain control, fewer complications, and are returning to their lives sooner. Due to the program’s success, the program is now being expanded to include our cardiac surgery patients.

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