Archive Anesthesia 2019

Primed for Recovery

Optimizing patients' nutrition before surgery prepares their bodies for the physical rigors of surgery.

Joe Paone

Joe Paone


APPLE A DAY Patients who eat the right foods in the weeks leading up to surgery are more likely to experience positive outcomes.

If your idea of surgical nutrition involves handing out Saltines and ginger ale in the PACU, it's time to buy into pre-op nutrition programs that help patients endure procedures, recover more quickly, experience better outcomes and reduce their need for opioids to control post-op pain.

Experts estimate that only about 1 in 5 surgical facilities uses enhanced recovery techniques, including managing how patients prepare their bodies for the physical stress of going under the knife. That needs to change. "We know how important it is to make sure patients, nutritionally, are ready for surgery," says Ron Gauthier, CRNA, BSA, BSN, MS, director of anesthesia and perioperative services at Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall, Mich. "What they eat and drink beforehand makes a big difference."

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