The programme was first developed by Professor Henrik Kehlet in Copenhagen and involves small changes to all aspects of care. This ensures that patients keep well and return to their full normal fitness as quickly as possible after surgery.
Helen Chave, Consultant General Surgeon said: “Patients have a detailed description of the programme early on in their treatment. They don’t need bowel preparation and do not eat for the minimum time before surgery. We use a meticulous surgical technique, either with keyhole surgery, or the smallest incisions possible. We don’t use tubes or drains and patients feel well enough to get out of bed on the day of surgery. The following day they are up and about and eating normal food. ”
Ms Chave said: ”“The results of this programme are very exciting with the majority of patients returning home within three days. Patient feedback has also been very positive.”
Before the programme was introduced, the majority of bowel cancer patients would be in hospital for at least 10 days. Traditional treatment would involve long periods on a drip, patients were confined to bed and even longer periods of convalescence at home.
Ms Chave said: ” The new programme is good news for our patients with the success of their recovery centred on their motivation and commitment, coupled with support and information from our staff. Faster recovery is also dependent on every aspect of the treatment process and is therefore good for our staff and their whole team approach to the care and treatment they provide.” Ends
Notes to Editors:
The fast track recovery programme was developed by Professor Henrik Kehlet who is Professor of Surgical Gastroenterology at the Hvidovre University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The fast track recovery programme started as a pilot at Salisbury District Hospital in 2006. All patients needing surgery for bowel cancer will now follow the recovery programme.
For further information please contact:
Patrick Butler, Public Relations Manager, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, SP2 8BJ. Tel: 01722 425170