In taking a friend for surgery yesterday, there was a lengthy delay and as we were in the Pre-Op area, we were able to observe what was a professional group with what seemed to be an excellent dynamic. It was quite busy as patients were prepped and there was not much spare space, yet the nurses and technicians flowed around each other with smiles and friendly bedside manners.
There were some tasks involving what they called Enhanced Recovery Protocol and after about the third thing, I asked about it. The protocol has been in place for not quite two years and includes some different medication combinations and placement of pads on a patient’s feet and another portion of the body to cushion contact during prolonged surgery to help avoid bed sores. The medication was to reduce the possibility of nausea from anesthesia and I don’t recall now the purpose of the other one. There was also a different way to measure baseline breathing capacity to ensure it was as good post-surgery. The explanation for the protocol was to shorten the recovery time, especially for patients who would be going home alone. This was for outpatient surgery and while everything was supported by studies and research, it would make sense that it will depend on the individual as well. In this particular case, the delay in surgery meant being late in the evening when everything was completed and an overnight stay was ordered as a precaution. There was no complication from the surgery, but it had been nearly a fourteen hour day when travel time to and from the hospital was included. Since this particular patient has had other out-patient procedures, it will be interesting to see if any measurable difference in recovery is noted. I hope so, of course, because shorter recovery is always a good thing.