Ops are faster and less scary

Published on: 01 Sep 2014

A FAST-TRACK programme devised by experts at Emersons Green NHS Treatment Centre could benefit patients across the country.

The technique enables many people to go home an hour after their operations.

Dr Marco La Malfa, clinical director of anaesthetics at the centre, which is run by Care UK, says the method is more convenient for patients and helps reduce anxiety.

It involves fine-tuning anaesthesia to the individual’s needs and allows them to become conscious and responsive as soon as the surgery is complete. The process is suitable for most day surgery cases carried out at the centre in Emersons Green including minor orthopaedic, gynaecology, urology, ear, nose and throat and general surgery.

Dr La Malfa has now begun training NHS teams composed of anaesthetists, surgeons, nurses and managers in the technique.

Dr La Malfa said: “The feedback has been universally positive and there is now a waiting list for the training course.”

Traditionally patients arrive at a hospital early in the morning and wait, sometimes until late into the afternoon, before undergoing surgery. For some nervous patients this can prove distressing. The ‘Emersons Green way’ sees people arriving for individual appointments close to their surgery time.

“This reduces anxiety levels among patients as well as being a great deal more convenient for them. Teamed with a fine tuned anaesthetic technique, it means a patient can be ready to go home within two hours of arriving at the centre, feeling alert and confident as they have been able to talk to their surgeon after their surgery,” Dr La Malfa explained.

During the training sessions the healthcare professionals will meet patients before and after surgery as well as viewing what takes place in the theatre.

Dr La Malfa said: “During our fast track recovery training sessions, I explain the technique as we operate. This is an advanced technique and it is important that the anaesthetists understand the subtleties. I am delighted that Emersons Green Treatment Centre is able to lead the way nationally in a technique that really does improve the patient experience.”

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