Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 5

AN

EDUCATED
PATIENT

BY MELANIE DICK

L

ast fall, Jim Sarosiek came
to UVA Health System for
follow-up care after having
neurosurgery to relieve symptoms of essential tremor, a movement
disorder that made his hands shake
uncontrollably. During some routine
tests, Sarosiek's doctors noticed that
his lab values were off. Additional tests
revealed Sarosiek had colon cancer. He
was scheduled to have major bowel
surgery the following week.
"I accepted the findings and wanted
to know what the options were. Rather
than fi xating on the diagnosis, I wanted
to know what we could do about it,"
he says.
Knowing surgery was his best option,
Sarosiek was glad to learn about a pioneering program at UVA to help make
recovery easier for surgery patients.
In fact, his daughter-in-law, Bethany,
serves as development coordinator
for the UVA Enhanced Recovery After
Surgery (ERAS) program.
WEBSITE

PHOTO BY JIM SAROSIEK

If You Ever
Face Cancer...
You'll want to take advantage
of the expertise at UVA Cancer
Center, among an elite group
of National Cancer Institute
(NCI)-designated cancer centers that are leaders in cancer
research, prevention, detection and treatment. Learn
more at uvahealth.com/
cancer.

Bethany Sarosiek has seen fi rsthand
the positive effects of this initiative
since she took on the role in 2014.
ERAS was developed to better prepare patients for surgery, help them
go home from the hospital sooner, and
reduce their risk of infection and hospital readmission due to complications.
Bethany knows the program works, but
she got a personal point of view with
her father-in-law's treatment.
"As healthcare professionals, we're
constantly reading and learning about
what a cancer diagnosis means to a
patient. Still, it's drastically different
when it affects someone in your family. No training can prepare you for
that," Bethany says. "But having ERAS
in place-a program that I've helped to
develop and has been shown to work-
was a huge comfort. I knew we had
the tools to help Jim understand his
diagnosis, and I was confident that he
would be able to take care of himself
after he left the hospital."

Mental Prep for Surgery

One of the major focal points of ERAS
is patient education. Patients receive a
handbook that includes in-depth information about how to prepare for surgery, what to expect while they're in
the hospital and what to do when they
go home. This handbook isn't a broad
overview; rather, it is a detailed guide
written in simple terms with checklists,
bullet points, graphics and pictures to
enhance patients' understanding of
the material.
In Jim Sarosiek's case, he was given a
clear liquid diet the evening of his surgery, which was performed by colorectal
surgeon Charles Friel, MD. The next
day, Sarosiek was eating soft foods, and

Jim Sarosiek came to UVA for neurosurgery, was diagnosed with colon
cancer, had two-thirds of his bowel
removed and was at home enjoying
Thanksgiving with his family one
week after surgery. How's that for
"enhanced recovery"?

within 24 hours was eating scrambled
eggs. Just one week after his surgery,
he was enjoying Thanksgiving dinner at
home with his family.
"The care I received at UVA was off
the charts," says Sarosiek, now 70 and
enjoying retirement life in Scottsdale,
Arizona. "I had some pain in my abdomen, but nothing a little extra-strength
Tylenol couldn't help. I stayed away
from opioids because I had been
informed through ERAS that taking
them would slow down the healing
process. Because they got me up right
away after surgery to walk around, I
was out walking in the neighborhood
right after I was released from the hospital. In short order, my pain subsided
and I was able to cough and yawn again
without pain."
"I am doing outstanding," Sarosiek
continues. "Dr. Friel feels confident
that he got all of the cancer. I feel really
good compared to how I felt before
the surgery, when I didn't have much
energy due to a low red blood cell count.
I thought I was just getting old; now I
know better." ■
WINTE R 2017

5


http://www.uvahealth.com/cancer http://www.uvahealth.com/cancer

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 4
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 5
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 11
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 45
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 46
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 47
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 48
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 49
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover4
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