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Pain Management After Plastic Surgery: ERAS Protocols and their Benefits

One of the biggest concerns that our patients at Glamour Plastic Surgery and Med Spa often express with regards to plastic surgery is the recovery factor, and particularly post-operative pain management.


Dr. Bachilo, a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in cosmetic surgery, utilizes the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol, which is a multimodal perioperative care pathway that helps achieve a quicker and easier recovery following surgical procedures by reducing the post-operative stress response and maintaining pre-operative organ function throughout the procedure.


How does ERAS protocol Improve Post-Operative Outcomes and Recovery?

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol is basically a treatment pathway that is patient-centered, based on solid evidence, and employs a multidisciplinary team that comes together to reduce the surgical stress response of each patient, maintains optimal physical function, and facilitates a speedier and more comfortable recovery.


These care or treatment pathways function as an integrated continuum, from the time the patient leaves home through the entire preoperative preparation period, the actual intraoperative phase, and the postoperative period following surgery as they recover at home.


What does ERAS Protocol Consist of?

The ERAS protocols that Dr. Bachilo uses follow the general guidelines established by the ERAS Society.  These include:

  • Preoperative counseling and optimized patient preparation prior to admission
  • Optimal nutrition and the administration of a carbohydrate beverage two hours prior to administering anesthesia
  • Multimodal pain management with use standardized analgesic and anesthetic treatments, and limited use of narcotics when indicated
  • Early mobilization, and reintroduction of physical activities on the day of surgery
  • Rapid reintroduction of the patient’s normal diet
  • Continued post-operative care at home


Each patient is examined during an initial consultation and is seen again during a preoperative visit, during which Dr. Bachilo and her patient care coordinators will discuss with you all the details regarding the surgical procedures, such as the medications to be administered, and your prescribed postoperative care regimen. You may ask any questions you may have and discuss your aesthetic goals and expectation.


Benefits of ERAS Protocols

Studies have consistently found that the adoption of ERAS protocols is associated with significant improvements in patient outcomes and satisfaction, as well as a reduction in cost for care.


Specifically, patients who adopt ERAS protocols experience the following benefits:


  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Fewer complications
  • Faster recovery


One study, published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal in 2018, set out to evaluate the effects of ERAS protocols on patient outcomes and satisfaction specifically with regards to cosmetic plastic surgery.


The study consisted of questionnaires administered to patients of two senior plastic surgeons throughout their procedure. The treatment group adopted an ERAS protocol, while the control group followed the traditional post-surgical recovery methods, including use of narcotics.


At the conclusion of the study, the ERAS group reported significantly less postoperative pain than the control group, as well as less nausea, fatigue and drowsiness, constipation, and hindrance on ambulation, in comparison to the control group. Lastly, opioid use

was also decreased in the ERAS group.


ERAS protocols have demonstrated their ability to significantly improve patient outcomes within many surgical fields, including cosmetic plastic surgery. The benefits are found in the ability to reduce a patient’s recovery period, as well as discomfort during recovery, reducing postoperative complaints, and avoiding the use of narcotics without risking any increase in complications. The findings of this study in particular stress the importance of using ERAS protocols to improve patient outcomes within cosmetic plastic surgery.


By implementing ERAS protocols, we have seen a decrease in hospital stay, a reduction in complications, and an increase in patient satisfaction. Additionally, the current opioid epidemic crisis has encouraged doctors and other healthcare providers across the country to minimize the use of narcotics whenever possible, to reduce their potentially detrimental effects on all patients. Thanks to reduced length of hospital stay and reduced use of narcotics, ERAS protocols have also resulted in a reduction of costs associated with plastic surgery, while improving overall patient outcomes and satisfaction.


To learn more about how Dr. Bachilo optimizes her patients’ experiences with plastic surgery, contact Glamour Plastic Surgery and Med Spa today, and schedule your first appointment with Dr. Olga Bachilo.


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