Neurosurgical enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS): do patients see a difference?




Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery

Project Summary

As part of my summer research experience with PURM, I worked with Dr. Zarina Ali at Penn’s department of neurosurgery. Dr. Ali is Pennsylvania Hospital’s first female neurosurgeon and is working on enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) research for spinal surgery patients. As part of this research, Dr. Ali and her team showed how ERAS has led to positive clinical outcomes. What they hadn’t yet looked at was how it affected patient satisfaction. This research on patient satisfaction was the main focus of my summer project. I created a questionnaire based around ERAS to gather data on patients who had had both “traditional” surgery and surgery with the ERAS pathway. This way, we could get actual patient responses on how they perceived the changes to their care caused by the ERAS pathway. This project taught me how meticulous the data that goes into research is, but also how beneficial the outcomes can be. I already had an interest in neurology, which was why I initially was drawn to this project, and getting to spend time in a neurosurgery clinic only further increased this interest. Being surrounded by so many amazing neurosurgeons and being so involved with the data collected also made it really easy and interesting to learn about the spine. Overall, it was a wonderful experience that I would gladly do again.