Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 2914–2922 | Cite as

Early outcomes of an enhanced recovery protocol for open repair of ventral hernia

  • Evan Stearns
  • Margaret A. Plymale
  • Daniel L. Davenport
  • Crystal Totten
  • Samuel P. Carmichael
  • Charles S. Tancula
  • John Scott Roth



Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols are evidence-based quality improvement pathways reported to be associated with improved patient outcomes. The purpose of this study was to compare short-term outcomes for open ventral hernia repair (VHR) before and after implementation of an ERAS protocol.


After obtaining IRB approval, surgical databases were searched for VHR cases for two years prior and eleven months after protocol implementation for retrospective review. Groups were compared on perioperative characteristics and clinical outcomes using chi-square, Fisher’s exact, or Mann–Whitney U test, as appropriate.


One hundred and seventy-one patients underwent VHR (46 patients with ERAS protocol in place and 125 historic controls). Age, gender, ASA Class, comorbidities, and smoking status were similar between the two groups. Body mass index was lower among ERAS patients (p = .038). ERAS patients had earlier return of bowel function (median 3 vs. 4 days) (p = .003) and decreased incidence of superficial surgical site infection (SSI) (7 vs. 25%) (p = .008) than controls.


An ERAS protocol for VHR demonstrated improved patient outcomes. A system-wide culture focused on enhanced recovery is needed to ensure improved patient outcomes.


Enhanced recovery Clinical outcomes Ventral hernia repair Process evaluation Surgical site infection 


Compliance with ethical standards


Dr. Roth is a speaker for Bard, has grants with Bard, Acelity, Gore, and MTF, and is a consultant for Acelity. Stearns, Dr. Plymale, Dr. Davenport, Dr. Totten, Dr. Carmichael, and Tancula have no conflict of interest or financial interests to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evan Stearns
    • 2
  • Margaret A. Plymale
    • 1
  • Daniel L. Davenport
    • 3
  • Crystal Totten
    • 1
  • Samuel P. Carmichael
    • 1
  • Charles S. Tancula
    • 1
  • John Scott Roth
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of General SurgeryUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.University of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  4. 4.Division of General Surgery, Department of SurgeryUniversity of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA

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