Enhanced Recovery after Surgery: The Plastic Surgery Paradigm Shift

Erica L. Bartlett, Dmitry Zavlin, Jeffrey D. Friedman, Aariane Abdollahi, Norman H. Rappaport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background: With a focus on providing high quality care and reducing facility based expenses there has been an evolution in perioperative care by way of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS). ERAS allows for a multidisciplinary and multimodal approach to perioperative care which not only expedites recovery but maximizes patient outcomes. This paradigm shift has been generally accepted by most surgical specialties, including plastic surgery. Objectives: The goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of ERAS on outcomes in cosmetic plastic surgery. Methods: A prospective study consisting of phone call questionnaires was designed where patients from two senior plastic surgeons (N.H.R. and J.D.F.) were followed. The treatment group (n = 10) followed an ERAS protocol while the control group (n = 12) followed the traditional recovery after surgery which included narcotic usage. Patients were contacted on postoperative days (POD) 0 through 7+ and surveyed about a number of outcomes measures. Results: The ERAS group demonstrated a significant reduction in postoperative pain on POD 0, 1, 2, and 3 (all P < 0.01). There was also statistically less nausea/vomiting, fatigue/drowsiness, constipation, and hindrance on ambulation compared to the control group (all P < 0.05). Significance was achieved for reduction in fatigue/drowsiness on POD 0 and 1 (P < 0.01), as well as ability to ambulate on POD 0 and 3 (P = 0.044). Lastly, opioid use (P < 0.001) and constipation (P = 0.003) were decreased. Conclusions: ERAS protocols have demonstrated their importance within multiple surgical fields, including cosmetic plastic surgery. The utility lies in the ability to expedite patient's recovery while still providing quality care. This study showed a reduction in postoperative complaints by avoiding narcotics without an increase in complications. Our findings signify the importance of ERAS protocols within cosmetic plastic surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-685
Number of pages10
JournalAesthetic surgery journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 15 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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