Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)

Colorectal Surgery ERAS

Appointment New Patient Appointment or 214-645-8300

Colorectal surgery typically involves removal of part or all of your small or large bowel. It’s used to treat conditions such as cancer, blockage, or inflammatory bowel disease.

Our colectomy ERAS program is designed to help patients return to health more quickly after undergoing the surgery.


  • Make this an ideal surgical experience for you, the patient.
  • Incorporate innovative pain medications to improve your postoperative pain control while decreasing your narcotic needs.
  • Prevent potential surgical and anesthesia complications.
  • Reduce the amount of time you’re in the hospital after your surgery.
  • Decrease your likelihood of having to return to the hospital after discharge.

Prior to Surgery

  • Your surgeon will meet with you to explain the surgical plan and set your expectations for surgery.
  • We will call you to provide instructions for surgery and medications prior to surgery. You might also be scheduled for an appointment in our pre-surgical testing clinic to meet with our anesthesia team or have blood drawn.
    • We might request testing from your other physicians.
    • Call our pre-surgical testing clinic with any questions: 214-633-4202.
  • Lifestyle modifications:
    • We encourage you to stop smoking and consuming alcohol for one month prior to surgery.
    • We encourage you to increase your physical activity prior to surgery.
    • Eat a balanced, healthy diet high in protein, and remain hydrated.
  • On the night before surgery, do not eat solid foods after 11 p.m.
  • Follow instructions from your surgeon regarding skin and bowel preparation.
  • You can drink clear liquids (such as water, Gatorade, or Sprite) up to two hours before your surgery start time.
  • Drink either a bottle of water or a 20-oz. Gatorade on the way to the hospital, at least two hours before your surgery start time (if you have diabetes, please drink only 10 ounces).
  • In the pre-op area, you will receive oral non-narcotic pain medications (acetaminophen and gabapentin) to improve your postoperative pain.

During Surgery

  • You will receive general anesthesia and be completely asleep during the procedure.
  • Your anesthesia team will monitor you very closely while you are asleep and will insert additional intravenous (IV) lines or monitors if necessary.
  • You will receive multiple medications during surgery to treat pain and nausea.
  • There will be a specific and tailored anesthetic protocol to decrease the stress on your body, improve pain control, and accelerate your recovery.
  • A nerve block might be performed during the procedure. This is designed to decrease your postoperative pain and need for IV and oral pain medications.

Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and After

  • You will wake up in our post-anesthesia care unit (PACU).
  • You will be asked to chew gum and ice chips and to drink clear liquids to help with recovery of bowel function.
  • You will be given an incentive spirometer to remind you to take deep breaths.
  • Starting on the day of your surgery, we encourage you to get out of bed and walk with help from your nurse.
    • Try to increase the distance and frequency of your walks each day; doing so will help your bowel function return to normal, prevent deconditioning, and speed up your recovery.
  • Unless instructed otherwise by your nurse or surgeon, you will be able to eat a normal diet the day after your surgery. Continue to chew gum or hard candy as well.
  • You will take scheduled non-opioid pain medications during your recovery and have narcotic medications available for breakthrough pain if necessary.

Tracking Your Progress

Austin Street, M.D., explains why it’s important to be involved and track your progress.