A lot of women choose the immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy. The most common method is breast reconstruction using tissue expanders. Women’s way of life and the economic crisis have created the need for adopting enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols and early hospital discharge. The present study aims at informing perioperative nurses about the ERAS protocols and encouraging their implementation. ERAS protocols in breast cancer patients undergoing immediate post-mastectomy breast reconstruction include a combination of evidence-based interoperative interventions with the participation of surgeons, anesthetists, nurses, physiotherapists, and dietitians as members of the multidisciplinary team. This is a multifactorial approach to postoperative rehabilitation and care of the surgical patient. ERAS protocols are easy to apply, reduce morbidity, perioperative anxiety, postoperative pain, postoperative complications and hospitalization. In addition, they reduce the cost of treatment and hospitalization. The patient’s approach to breast cancer following an ERAS protocol is divided into three phases: pre-surgical, intraoperative and post-operative. It starts before the patient’s hospitalization and continues until they are discharged, requiring active participation throughout the process. The total average hospitalization for post-mastectomy rehabilitation decreased from 3.6 days, prior to ERAS implementation, to 0 (discharging the same day) to 1.2 days post-surgery, releasing 30% of the beds. In conclusion, the ERAS protocols, following evidence-based perioperative care, promote the rapid recovery of patients aiming at reducing post-operative stress and its effects.
Key words: Breast reconstruction, ERAS protocols, mastectomy, postoperative anxiety, rapid recovery