Improving Colorectal Surgical Care and Recovery
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Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Therefore, early detection is very important. Colonoscopy and other screening tests are used to detect colorectal cancer. Please speak with your primary care physician about colonoscopy screening guidelines. Following a colonoscopy, if your physician finds any polyps, abnormal tissue or has reason to suspect cancer, you will be referred to a specialist.
The surgical team at the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center is specially trained in minimally invasive techniques including laparoscopic and robotic surgery. They also provide a complete range of diagnostic and specialized treatment services for colorectal cancer patients, and patients with benign colorectal conditions, in collaboration with the Tate Cancer Center at UM BWMC.
UM BWMC and its University of Maryland Medical System partners are proud to collaborate with the American College of Surgeons to launch a quality initiative called the Improving Surgical Care and Recovery program. This program is guided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). AHRQ provides support to hospitals in implementing the evidence-based enhanced recovery pathways to meaningfully improve clinical outcomes, reduce hospital length of stay, improve patient experience and prevent readmissions.
The Improving Surgical Care and Recovery program at UM BWMC aims to enhance our colorectal patients’ recoveries and prevent infections. This dynamic collaboration involves the teamwork of many departments, including surgery, anesthesia, pharmacy, nursing and the quality improvement and patient safety departments.
The enhanced recovery journey incorporates protocols for before, during and after surgery. Prior to surgery, the patients receive counseling and a detailed handbook about the expectations when they are getting ready for surgery, the day of surgery, recovery and what to expect after their discharge from the hospital. Prior to admission, the patient will take a bowel prep with an antibiotic. On their way to the hospital, the patient will have a sports drink to improve the recovery process. Preoperatively, glucose checks are done on all colorectal patients. During the procedure, the surgical team uses multimodal pain management to control pain. Postoperatively, patients receive clear, evidence-based instructions to enhance their recovery, including nutrition replenishment, early mobility and early urinary bladder catheter removal. The entire team at UM BWMC is focused on ensuring that the patient has the most comfortable and the safest recovery possible from their colorectal surgery.
Cherif Boutros, MD, Chair of Surgical Oncology and Project Physician Lead; and Bernadette Boalt-Watson, Quality Improvement Coordinator and Project Lead