Enhanced recovery program for minimally invasive and vaginal urogynecologic surgery
Introduction and hypothesis
Enhanced recovery protocols (ERPs) are evidenced-based interventions designed to standardize perioperative care and expedite recovery to baseline functional status after surgery. There remains a paucity of data addressing the effect of ERPs on pelvic reconstructive surgery patients.
An ERP was implemented at our institution including: patient counseling, carbohydrate loading, avoidance of opioids, goal-directed fluid resuscitation, immediate postoperative feeding and early ambulation. Patients undergoing elective pelvic reconstructive surgery before and after implementation of the ERP were identified in this cohort study.
One hundred eighteen patients underwent pelvic reconstructive surgery within the ERP compared with 76 historic controls. Reductions were seen in length of hospital stay (29.9 vs. 27.9 h, p = 0.04), total morphine equivalents (37.4 vs. 19.4 mg, p < 0.01) and total intravenous fluids administered (2.7 l vs. 1.5 l, p < 0.0001). Hospital discharges before noon doubled (32.9 vs. 60.2%, p < 0.01). More patients in the ERP group ambulated on the day of surgery (17.1 vs. 73.7%, p < 0.01) and ambulated at least two times the day following surgery (34.2 vs. 72.9%, p < 0.01). No differences were seen in average pain scores (highest pain score 7.39 vs. 7.37, p = 0.95), hospital readmissions (3.9 vs. 3.4%, p = 0.84), or postoperative complications (6.58 vs. 8.47%, p = 0.79). Patient satisfaction significantly improved. ERP was not associated with an increase in 30-day total hospital costs.
Implementation of ERP for pelvic reconstructive surgery patients was associated with a reduced length of hospital stay, improved patient satisfaction, and decreased administration of intravenous fluids and opioids without an increase in complications, readmissions, or hospital costs.
KeywordsERP Vaginal hysterectomy Vaginal reconstruction Fast track recovery
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
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