What We Do:

Patients often worry about the pain associated with their medical procedures and the risks associated with receiving general anesthesia. The goal of the Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Management Division is to work with and on behalf of adult patients undergoing procedures at Johns Hopkins to prevent and reduce pain and provide alternatives to general anesthesia.

Over the past year, the Division has also expanded its regional block service. This technique involves the anesthesiologist numbing the area of the body requiring surgery. Nerve blocks can be coupled with sedition or general anesthesia to enhance comfort during procedures and further reduce post-operative pain.

ERAS Program Reduces Complications and Decreases Length of Stay

Wu_Chris.05242016 Dr. Chris Wu and the Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Management Division at Johns Hopkins have been leading the effort to improve patients’ recovery following surgery. The ERAS (enhanced recovery after surgery) protocol is a proven multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to optimizing patient satisfaction while decreasing their length of stay in the hospital. The cornerstone of this effort is preemptive, multimodal pain management strategies, including epidurals and non-narcotic oral pain medications. Reducing the amount of narcotics effectively reduces side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, bowel obstruction, sedation, itching, and respiratory issues.

Dr. Wu has collaborated with several surgical departments at Hopkins, creating precise protocols for colorectal surgery, liver resection, cystoprostatectomy, gynecologic oncology procedures, breast surgery, and postpartum care. ERAS patients are followed after surgery by a dedicated team of acute pain specialists. In addition to evidence showing that ERAS protocols improve outcomes and decrease complication rates, Dr. Wu continues to study the lasting consequences of such protocols, including preserved immune function and decreased cancer recurrence. His efforts are ensuring that patients can feel better and get home faster following their surgical procedures.