RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia hospital has been able to reduce opioid use and send patients home for the hospital earlier under a series of new surgery protocols.

The Enhanced Recovery Program at Bon Secours Richmond Health System's St. Mary's Hospital has reduced reliance on post-operative opioids by 80 percent since it was established last year for patients undergoing colorectal surgery.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/2xZXinX ) that the protocols include allowing patients to have clear liquids up to two hours before surgery, providing a nutritional supplement a couple days before surgery and relying on non-opioid painkillers like Tylenol.

The program is also reducing time spent in the hospital by two days.

Bon Secours is considering expanded use of the protocols.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com