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Patient outcomes and adherence to an enhanced recovery pathway for open gynecologic surgery: a 6-year single-center experience

Abstract

Objectives To evaluate compliance with an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol for open gynecologic surgery at a tertiary center and the relationship between levels of compliance and peri-operative outcomes.

Methods This retrospective cohort study was conducted between November 2014 and December 2020. Two groups were defined based on compliance level (<80% vs ≥80%). The primary outcome was to analyze overall compliance since implementation of the ERAS protocol. The secondary endpoint was to assess the relationship between compliance and 30-day re-admission, length of stay, re-operation, opioid-free rates, and post-operative complications. We also assessed compliance with each ERAS element over three time periods (P1: 2014–2016, P2: 2017–2018, P3: 2019–2020), categorizing patients according to the date of surgery. Values were compared between P1 and P3.

Results A total of 1879 patients were included. Overall compliance over the period of 6 years was 74% (95% CI 71.9% to 78.2%). Mean overall compliance increased from 69.7% to 75.8% between P1 and P3. Compliance with ERAS ≥80% was associated with lower Clavien–Dindo complication rates (grades III (OR 0.55; 95% CI 0.33 to 0.93) and V (OR 0.08, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.60)), 30-day re-admission rates (OR 0.61; 95% CI 0.43 to 0.88), and length of stay (OR 0.59; 95% CI 0.47 to 0.75). No difference in opioid consumption was seen. Pre-operatively, there was increased adherence to counseling by 50% (p=0.01), optimization by 21% (p=0.02), and carbohydrate loading by 74% (p=0.02). Intra-operatively, compliance with use of short-acting anesthetics increased by 37% (p=0.01) and avoidance of abdominal drainage increased by 7% (p=0.04). Use of goal-directed fluid therapy decreased by 16% (p=0.04). Post-operatively, there was increased compliance with avoiding salt and water overload (8%, p=0.02) and multimodal analgesia (5%, p=0.02).

Conclusions Over the time period of the study, overall compliance increased from 69.7% to 75.8%. Compliance (≥80%) with ERAS is associated with lower complication rates, fewer 30-day re-admissions, and shorter length of stay without impacting re-operation rates and post-operative opioid use.

  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures
  • Postoperative complications
  • Postoperative Care

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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