Nutrition Counseling Helps Prepare Surgery Patients for Better Outcomes

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Published on April 04, 2018

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery

You wouldn’t run a marathon without healthy eating habits, so why would you have surgery without being in the best nutritional shape possible?

To that end, Concord Hospital began the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program in May to help improve nutrition for patients scheduled for certain surgeries. The goal is to improve outcomes by helping patients eat more nutritious foods before surgery, immediately following surgery and into recovery.

Studies show that patients who do not fast for a long period before surgery and are well-nourished before and after surgery have a shorter length of stay, fewer post-operative infections and fewer readmissions.

To date, the program involves Concord Hospital Medical Group (CHMG) Concord Surgical hernia repair patients, Concord Hospital Center for Cardiac Care patients undergoing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) and Concord Hospital Center for Urologic Care patients having a specific type of urinary drainage surgery.

After being screened for nutrition risk, patients with malnutrition either are referred to Concord Hospital’s inpatient dietitian or seen immediately by the dietitian for a full nutrition assessment and intervention. The dietitian provides a personalized nutrition plan, necessary supplements and follow-up until surgery.

After surgery, the dietitian works with patients in the Hospital and provides a nutrition plan to take home when they are discharged. Patients with diabetes are referred to Concord Hospital’s Outpatient Diabetes and Nutrition Program. In the first three months of the program, 15 surgical patients were referred for a full nutrition assessment.