Helping the healing process

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

ROCHESTER, Minn. — New research is finding ways to recover from surgery faster and with less pain.

The Mayo Clinic has found some new pain control techniques throughout the entire surgery process that are leading to faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays.

They call it “enhanced recovery pathway” and although it was pioneered with colorectal surgery, it is being brought to the limelight with breast reconstructive surgery.

Doctors say patients are relying much less on painkillers.

“It minimizes the risk of having opiate related complications such as nausea, vomiting, respiratory distress, all things which can lead to increased length of stay, decreased patient satisfaction and complications in general,” said Dr. Michel Saint-Cyr, a Plastic Surgeon for Mayo.

He said that is leading to a smoother process.

“They’re recovering from surgery faster, their pain post-operatively is much less than what they anticipated. There’s less of an anxiety fear factor going into surgery which alleviates their pain post-operatively because they’re less anxious and worried,” Saint-Cyr said.

Besides being able to leave the hospital sooner, he said patients can usually begin driving again and working more quickly than traditional care.

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