Posted by:John Ellis
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Hospitals are replacing traditional surgery preparation and recovery practices with “enhanced recovery” protocols amid evidence of improved patient health. WSJ’s Laura Landro reports.

Rules on fasting before surgery are based on assumptions that anesthesia reactions might cause patients to throw up during a procedure and hamper breathing, but research has shown clear liquids within two hours actually decreases that risk, according to John Abenstein, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist. OR teams are sometimes reluctant to adopt the less-restrictive policies out of concern patients won’t follow directions and come in for surgery having had a glass of milk or cola, and then surgery has to be delayed, Dr. Abenstein says. But when patients consume clear liquids correctly, they feel much better after surgery, he says.

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