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Surgeons and Anesthesia Specialists Work to Improve Patient Recovery

November 30, 2016 | 10:20 am | Info Articles
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While it might seem that surgeons do all the heavy-lifting during surgery, studies show that team cooperation, effort, and communication with certified anesthesia specialists in Northern California can dramatically improve quality patient care.

For those who have dedicated their lives to saving and improving other people’s lives, enhanced recovery after surgery has always been the ultimate goal because it effectively reduces complication rates and shortens the patient’s hospital stay. However, enhanced recovery after surgery can only be achieved when surgeons and anesthesiologists know how to work well together and can communicate clearly and properly with each other so they reach the same goal.

Medical Group

Changing Perspectives

An anesthesia medical group in Northern California cited the 2010 study conducted in Japan wherein surveys were handed out to both surgeon and anesthesiologist involved in colorectal surgeries, before and after the operation, to gauge the effectiveness of team care and how anesthesiologists can help improve perioperative care that can shorten a patient’s hospital stay.

According to the study, vast improvement in postoperative hospital stay was observed for patients who underwent a colorectal resection operation under the care of both a surgeon and an anesthesiologist.

The length of hospital stay was considerably reduced from the average 12.7 days to just 9.3 days. This is due, in part, to the anesthesiologist’s work to improve the patient’s perioperative analgesia intake and assistance in facilitating postoperative recovery with the cooperation of the attending surgeon.

Quality Patient Care is a Responsibility

Another positive effect of the study is how the surgeons radically changed their opinions about anesthesiologists with the general consensus that quality patient care is, ultimately, the responsibility of both the surgeon and the anesthesiologist involved in the operation.

This greatly differs from the usual talk that qualified anesthesiologists are not necessary in surgeries as the same work can be done by anesthetists. Although both anesthesiologists and anesthetists are trained to administer anesthesia, only anesthesiologists can provide the necessary key elements in enhancing recovery after surgery.

With patient safety in mind, both surgeons and anesthesiologists can benefit by working together. Anesthesia care should not be limited to just inside the operating room, but must also transcend to cover the three phases to patient recovery: pre-anesthesia evaluation, periprocedural management, and post-anesthesia care. At the end of the day, total patient care is the sum of work done by both surgeon and anesthesiologist.

Sources
Introduction of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols: reducing 3.4 days of postoperative hospital stay, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Change of surgeons’ opinion against anesthesiologists after introduction of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols: questionnaire survey among surgeons who participated ERAS care, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Comparison of temperament and character profiles of anesthesiologists and surgeons: a preliminary study, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Perioperative communication practices of anesthesiologists: A need to introspect and change, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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