Background: The aim of this study was to compare the outcome of an enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) pathway with traditional perioperative care in laparoscopic rectal resection. Methods: A retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data was conducted. Single-center consecutive patients who underwent laparoscopic rectal surgery after an ERAS program were compared with patients who received traditional care over an 8-year period. Primary and total length of stay, and readmission, morbidity and mortality rates were analyzed. For ERAS group, the actual adherence to protocol was also evaluated. Results: Two hundred and ninety-seven patients, 162 in the ERAS group and 135 in conventional care, were studied. Median primary and total length of stay were significantly shorter in the ERAS group (9 vs 12 days; p = 0.0001; 10 vs 12 days; p = 0.01; respectively). The ERAS group experienced a faster recovery of bowel function than the traditional care group (p = 0.0001). A similar morbidity rate was observed in the two groups (32.3 % in ERAS vs 36.1 % in traditional care p = 0.41). Readmission rates were 4.9 % in the ERAS versus 1.5 % in the traditional care group (p = 0.19). There was no mortality in either group. Overall mean compliance with the ERAS protocol was 85.7 % (range 54.4–100 %). Conclusions: The introduction of the ERAS protocol in laparoscopic rectal resection led to a reduction in primary and total length of hospital stay without an increase in morbidity or readmission rates when compared to traditional care.
- Early rehabilitation
- Enhanced recovery after surgery
- Rectal cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas