ERAS Cardiac Surgery Releases Consensus Statement of Best Practices to Speed Recovery after Heart Surgery

SAN DIEGO--()--An international group of leading heart surgeons known as ERAS® Cardiac Surgery presented evidenced-based expert consensus statements at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) meeting on April 28, 2018. These were developed in a formal process over 15 months to provide cardiac surgery programs best practices to enhance recovery after surgery. The group’s mission is to facilitate optimization of perioperative care of cardiac surgical patients through collaborative discovery, analysis, expert consensus, and dissemination of best practices that will improve both short and long-term outcomes and value and decrease complications and readmissions.

“This is the first time such a comprehensive evidence-based approach has been presented at a major cardiovascular surgery meeting and hopefully will encourage cardiac surgical programs around the world to join us to standardize best practice.”

The organizing committee includes Daniel T. Engelman, MD, and Richard Engelman, MD, Baystate Medical Center; Judson Williams, MD, WakeMed Health and Hospitals; Edward M Boyle, MD, St. Charles Medical Center; Louis P. Perrault, MD, Ph.D., Montreal Heart Institute; Ali Khoynezhad, MD, Ph.D., MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute; Rakesh C. Arora, MD, Ph.D., St. Boniface General Hospital; Eric E Roselli, MD, Cleveland Clinic; V. Seenu Reddy, MD, Centennial Heart & Vascular Center; Marc Gerdisch, MD, Franciscan Health Heart Center; Jerrold Levy, MD, Duke University; Kevin Lobdell, MD, Atrium Health; Nick Fletcher, MD, St Georges University of London; Matthias Kirsch, MD, CHUV Cardiac Surgery Centre, University Hospital Vaudois, Canada; and Gregg Nelson, MD, University of Calgary, Canada.

One year ago, the group was assembled for the purpose of going from a general conversation about novel methods to enhance recovery after heart surgery to developing an evidenced based consensus on best practice.

“Over the last year we have engaged in a formal process to solicit input, consider various protocols, and assess the class and strength of evidence of various care plans that may help enhance recovery after heart surgery,” said ERAS® Cardiac Surgery President, Dr. Daniel T. Engelman. “This is the first time such a comprehensive evidence-based approach has been presented at a major cardiovascular surgery meeting and hopefully will encourage cardiac surgical programs around the world to join us to standardize best practice.”

On Saturday, May 28th, the results of this process were presented at a first of its kind dedicated ERAS session at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery in San Diego, California. Some of the standardized approaches that were presented include presentations by Rakesh C. Arora, MD, Ph.D. (St. Boniface General Hospital) regarding prehabilitation to help patients prepare for surgery, glucose management by Judson Williams, MD, MHS (WakeMed Health), new techniques for rigid fixation of the sternum by Marc Gerdisch, MD (St. Francis Heart Center), active clearance methods for chest tubes to prevent retained blood syndrome by Louis P Perrault, MD, Ph.D (Montreal Heart Institute), multimodal approaches to prevent acute kidney injury by John Kellum, MD (University of Pittsburgh, Critical Care), and methods to minimize postoperative opioid use by Eric E. Roselli, MD (Cleveland Clinic). Seenu Reddy, MD (Centennial Heart and Vascular) presented his team’s experience implementing ERAS protocols, and Kevin Lobdell (Carolinas Healthcare System) discussed the barriers to change and how to overcome them.

“We were pleased to see the degree of engagement by those in attendance, as well as those who have reached out to us from around the world who want to help to bring ERAS to their heart surgery programs,” said Dr. Judson Williams, MD, MHS, lead author of a late-breaking abstract at the AATS reporting the first clinical data from a US-based ERAS Cardiac program. “We are excited to share evidence for decreased opioid use, decreased length of stay, and improved patient and staff satisfaction with ERAS Cardiac implementation.”

An additional session will be held on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at the AATS. It is anticipated that the final work product will be submitted for peer review publication facilitating its dissemination to surgeons and heart programs around the world.

ERAS® Cardiac Surgery is the sole official ERAS® Cardiac Surgical Specialty Group representing ERAS® Society on a global level. In addition, ERAS® Cardiac Surgery has been granted the distinct privilege to propose which hospital(s) should be appointed ERAS® Centers of Excellence in Cardiac Surgery.

ERAS® Cardiac Surgery is a non-profit organization with the mission to develop evidence-based expert consensus statements promoting best practice recovery practices. The goal is to provide hospitals better guidance for developing local protocols that are part of a continuous quality improvement (CQI) process for better patient care and a reduction of postoperative complications and costs after cardiothoracic surgery ( Focusing on cardiac surgery, our organization is collaborating with ERAS® (, an organization that promotes enhanced recovery in many other surgical specialties worldwide. For more information about ERAS® Cardiac, contact: Alan Morasch, CAE via

The ERAS® Society ( is an international, non-profit, multi-professional and multi-disciplinary medical society registered in Sweden devoted to the improvement of perioperative care, most commonly referred to as “Enhanced Recovery After Surgery" or "ERAS." The ERAS® Society is comprised of leaders and developers of care for patients undergoing surgery in a large range of surgical specialties. The ERAS® Study Group and later the ERAS® Society was assembled by Professor Ken Fearon, Univ Edinburgh, UK and Professor Olle Ljungqvist, Karolinska Insitutet, Sweden in 2001.


for ERAS Cardiac Surgery
Paul Williams

Recent Stories

RSS feed for ERAS Cardiac Surgery


Release Summary

ERAS Cardiac Surgery, a group of the world's leading heart surgeons, announced its consensus statement on best practices at the AATS meeting.

ERAS Cardiac Surgery