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Enhanced recovery after minimally invasive gynecologic oncology surgery to improve same day discharge: a quality improvement project


Objectives Same day discharge after minimally invasive hysterectomy has been shown to be safe and feasible. We designed and implemented a quality improvement perioperative program based on early recovery after surgery principles to improve the rate of same day discharge from 30% to 75% after minimally invasive gynecologic oncology surgery over a 12 month period.

Methods We enrolled 102 consecutive patients undergoing minimally invasive hysterectomy at a single cancer center during a 12 month period. A pre-intervention cohort of 100 consecutive patients was identified for comparison of clinicodemographic variables and perioperative outcomes. A multidisciplinary team developed a comprehensive perioperative care program and followed quality improvement methodology. Patients were followed up for 30 days after discharge. A statistical process chart was used to monitor the effects of our interventions, and a multivariate analysis was conducted to determine factors associated with same day discharge.

Results Same day discharge rate increased from 29% to 75% after implementation (p<0.001). The post-intervention cohort was significantly younger (59 vs 62 years; p=0.038) and had shorter operative times (180 vs 211 min; p<0.001) but the two groups were similar in body mass index, comorbidity, stage, and intraoperative complications. There was no difference in 30 day perioperative complications, readmissions, reoperations, emergency department visits, or mortality. Overnight admissions were secondary to nausea and vomiting (16%), complications of pre-existing comorbidities (12%), and urinary retention (8%). On multivariate analysis, longer surgery, timing of surgery, and narcotic use on the ward were significantly associated with overnight admission. Overall, 89% of patients rated their experience as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’, and 87% felt that their length of stay was adequate.

Conclusions Following implementation of a perioperative quality improvement program targeted towards minimally invasive gynecologic oncology surgery, our intervention significantly improved same day discharge rates while maintaining a low 30 day perioperative complication rate and excellent patient experience.

  • gynecologic surgical procedures
  • postoperative care
  • postoperative period
  • surgery

Data availability statement

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

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