Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) for gastrointestinal surgery, part 1: pathophysiological considerations

M J Scott, G Baldini, K C H Fearon, A Feldheiser, L S Feldman, T J Gan, O Ljungqvist, D N Lobo, T A Rockall, T Schricker, F Carli
Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica 2015, 59 (10): 1212-31

BACKGROUND: The present article has been written to convey concepts of anaesthetic care within the context of an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) programme, thus aligning the practice of anaesthesia with the care delivered by the surgical team before, during and after surgery.

METHODS: The physiological principles supporting the implementation of the ERAS programmes in patients undergoing major abdominal procedures are reviewed using an updated literature search and discussed by a multidisciplinary group composed of anaesthesiologists and surgeons with the aim to improve perioperative care.

RESULTS: The pathophysiology of some key perioperative elements disturbing the homoeostatic mechanisms such as insulin resistance, ileus and pain is here discussed.

CONCLUSIONS: Evidence-based strategies aimed at controlling the disruption of homoeostasis need to be evaluated in the context of ERAS programmes. Anaesthesiologists could, therefore, play a crucial role in facilitating the recovery process.

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