Enhanced Recovery After Surgery

Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) is a new and highly specialised spine surgery program that often starts even before surgery. By combining the latest in surgical and anaesthetic techniques, specialised medications and multi-disciplinary care, the patient’s recovery is both smoother as well as quicker.


ERAS programs can be applied to virtually all spine surgeries, including lumbar and cervical, decompression and fusion procedures. ERAS might be especially important for patients at risk of developing complications after surgery, including older patients or patients with multiple health problems.


ERAS often starts even before surgery. This may include highly focussed meetings with your surgeon, anaesthetist and other members of the to discuss ways of making surgery safer and recovery more expedient. During surgery, the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques might be used to reduce the amount of disruption to normal tissues. Specialised anaesthetic techniques, including highly specific blocks and long-acting local anaesthetics might be used to reduce pain after surgery and need for strong pain-killers, which can cause nausea and constipation, amongst other things. Special combinations of medications may be given to use to further reduce your need for opioids, and their associated side effects.

Postoperative instructions

After surgery, dedicated members of the ERAS team work with you to help you mobilise faster and return home quicker, and will also monitor your progress closely even after you get home. This might be via phone or email, or more modern methods such as mobile apps and telemedicine, depending on your preference.

Adhering to the post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon is important to promote healing and reduce possible complications.


  • Minimally invasive surgical techniques
  • Minimal disruption to normal tissues
  • Less requirement for strong pain-killers after surgery
  • Shorter stay in hospital
  • Faster recovery time
  • Dedicated teams and follow-up
  • Westmead Private Hospital
  • Neuro Surgical Society
  • the University of Sydney