Review Article

Enhanced recovery after thoracic surgery: patient information and care-plans

Majed Refai, Marco Andolfi, Paolo Gentili, Francesca Manzotti, Armando Sabbatini


Many studies have con rmed that the implementation of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols has the advantages of reducing the potential complications after thoracic surgery and the length of hospital stay. The ERAS program involves a multidisciplinary team, aimed at integrating evidence-based knowledge into clinical practice in order to reduce the patient’s stress response to the surgical procedure and improve the response to stress, guaranteeing a combination of better outcomes and cost savings. All this would not be possible without the improvement of minimally invasive surgical techniques, progression of anesthesia, pain control, and careful patient preparation. In this setting, a preoperative personal counselling may play a key role to reduce stress, fear or anxiety and improve the morbidity of patients, enabling them to achieve functional and psychological compensatory mechanisms more quickly. Preoperative patient counselling, performed using verbal, written or multimedia materials, is crucial in order to achieve the goal of the ERAS project: making the patient a potentially active participant and the main character of his recovery, able to positively impact himself throughout the surgical and healing process. This report is aimed at evaluating patient information and care-plans in thoracic surgery, reviewing the available evidence on ERAS pathways, and demonstrating our ideal program as discussed and shared among the Italian Thoracic Surgery Units accredited in the video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) group.

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