Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols are widely utilized approaches to perioperative care that advocate preoperative counseling, multimodal perioperative medication management, and early postoperative mobilization to improve post-surgical patient outcomes and satisfaction.
This article aims to elucidate the mechanism by which each medication utilized in the senior author’s ERAS protocol acts, determine the efficacy of this protocol in postoperative pain management, and reveal other factors that may play a role in patient’s degree of postoperative pain.
A literature review was performed on the medications utilized in the senior author’s ERAS protocol. Evidence from the author’s previous study on the efficacy of this regimen and anecdotal evidence regarding the psychological component of pain was also compiled.
There is evidence that an ERAS protocol is as effective if not more effective than regimens involving opioid medications in management of postoperative pain. These medications act synergistically to block perception of pain by multiple pathways, while minimizing adverse effects that may be associated with high doses of a single medication and are affordable for both the patient and the surgeon and.
ERAS protocols effectively manage postoperative pain while avoiding the adverse effects associated with opioid medications. While an emphasis has often been placed on the medications involved in various protocols and avoidance of opioid medications, appropriate counseling on patients’ expectations concerning postoperative “pain” or discomfort and a systemic shift in the approach to perioperative pain are perhaps the most important components to holistic non-narcotic postoperative care.

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