Often prefaces make you want to continue reading the book you would like to introduce as a mitral rite, but this does not depend (fortunately) on the preface. To avoid such unpleasant problems, in the dialogues with Leucos, Cesare Pavese himself wrote the preface expressing himself in a third person. Moreover, even when he came to Eugenio Montale to write a preface to Italo Svevo, his reading caused yawning.
However, writing the foreword to this Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Manual and Fast Track is full of joy because over the past 30 years there has been a Copernican revolution in operating techniques and postoperative patient care. The advances in technology have allowed numerous major surgical interventions to be performed with minimally invasive techniques, enabling patients to recover faster. These factors played a significant role in the emergence of a new era in the patient’s perioperative operation. The ERAS protocol was born with the aim of ensuring, after surgery, an optimal recovery and early return to daily activities while maintaining physiological homeostasis. Among the benefits of ERAS, in addition to early discharge, we can enumerate the reduction of stress, reduction of complications and, therefore, finally, reduction in health expenditure. The critical elements of this approach have already been introduced in 1980 and have been applied by modifying perioperative care standards at the end of the last century. However, although the protocol is based on solid scientific bases supported by evidence-based medicine (randomised trial and meta-analysis), its spread in Italy is still slow.
For this reason, I am delighted with the forthcoming release of this Issue of the Journal of Thoracic Disease (JTD), which ends at the end of a long work within the VATS Group. Moreover, in this Issue, the various authors and collaborators could synthesise concepts and describe how to turn a protocol into reality. Today, ERAS is even more current: the world has changed and has become a virtual village where innovation, both thinking and doing, is increasingly demanded. Moreover, putting these items together in a consistent way to make a useful book is not simple: you must imagine it, look for ingredients, surgically erase the egoists (all that does not have to be read in the book). This is a manual for curious people. Moreover, we hope that the curiosity that has made him bring you to read it.