Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)

Contact Us
Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)
Contact Us
Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)
Contact Us
Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)

Helping Kids Recover Faster After Heart Surgery

Nemours Children’s works hard to improve surgical success and recovery for kids. That’s why we offer a cardiac-specific Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program focused on your child’s health and wellness before, during and after surgery.

The cardiac ERAS program is part of our integrated care at our award-winning heart center in Delaware. The program involves multiple specialists planning and providing the right care, at the right time, for the best possible outcomes. 

Our team includes experts in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiac anesthesiology, cardiac intensive care, inpatient cardiology and highly skilled nurses, rehabilitation therapists, dietitians and more. 

Together, we’re committed to your child’s healthiest, easiest recovery after surgery. We want to get them back to running and playing to their highest ability, quickly and safely.

Our Services

Preschool-aged male patient in hospital bed looks at equipment demonstrated by male doctor while grandfather looks on smiling

ERAS for pediatric cardiothoracic surgery isn’t widely available. Our program follows research-based guidelines to prepare your child and family physically and mentally. We may use a variety of strategies. Here’s what to expect.

Before Surgery 

We work to:

  • Provide education and information about the surgery, expected results and how you can help your child heal and recover
  • Improve nutrition and respiratory function and strengthen your child’s health for better healing and reduced risk for infection
  • Reduce the time needed for fasting to improve nutrition and hydration, and reduce potential stress on the body

During Surgery 

We work to:

  • Use specialized anesthesia methods and medicines to reduce stress on the body, keep heart rate stable and ensure effective pain control during and after surgery 
  • Manage fluids to maintain proper hydration while reducing the risk for complications
  • Use minimally invasive approaches when possible, which can mean fewer, smaller cuts on the outside of the skin, less pain, reduced risk for complications, shorter hospital stays and a faster recovery
  • Maintain normal body temperature to reduce the risk for bleeding, infection and complications after surgery

After Surgery 

We work to:

  • Remove breathing tubes early to reduce complications from mechanical ventilation
  • Get your child moving sooner after surgery to prevent muscle weakness, improve lung function and enhance overall recovery
  • Use a combination of methods to manage pain and prevent nausea, like regional anesthesia (numbing specific areas), non-opioid medicines and non-drug therapies
  • Begin enteral feeding (nutrients given through a tube) as soon as possible to support good nutrition and digestive function
  • Start discharge planning early, working closely with families and care teams for a safe, timely transition to home care

Two Leading Pediatric Heart Centers

Our heart centers offer highly advanced, integrated care just for kids and young adults with congenital heart disease. Learn about our focused programs, innovative research and exceptional outcomes.  

Cardiac-Specific Care for Surgery Recovery in Delaware

When your child needs cardiothoracic surgery, you want the very best. Our hospital in Delaware offers enhanced services to make surgery the safest, and most successful it can be.

Mother embracing toddler.

ERAS programs are common for adults. We were pioneers, bringing cardiac-focused ERAS to children in our care.

Our team includes heart specialists who personalize care to your child’s needs. 

Our program improves surgical outcomes and reduces the risk for complications after surgery.

Children involved in our program may have a better chance to return to normal activities, like school, faster. 

Empowering You to Care for Your Child at Home

The Nemours inpatient heart care team helps you prepare for and manage your child’s care at home. We make sure you have everything you need, including training on devices, equipment and medicines before you leave.

A young student plays with blocks and gives a high-five to a young female teacher.

Getting Ready for Surgery

If your child needs surgery, it can help to know what to expect. Learn what happens before, during and after surgery.