Laparoscopic-assisted and open high anterior resection within an ERAS protocol

Ulf O Gustafsson, Marit Tiefenthal, Anders Thorell, Olle Ljungqvist, Jonas Nygrens
World Journal of Surgery 2012, 36 (5): 1154-61

BACKGROUND: Due to potentially superior short-term outcomes compared with open colorectal surgery, laparoscopic surgery is currently being implemented in clinical practice worldwide. In parallel, enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) programs are shown to improve postoperative recovery in open colorectal surgery. This study reports outcomes in laparoscopic versus open surgery in conjunction with compliance to the ERAS protocol.

METHODS: The association between surgical approach (laparoscopic or open surgery), compliance to the ERAS protocol, postoperative symptoms, complications, and length of stay after surgery was studied. Between January 2007 to December 2010, 114 consecutive patients underwent elective high anterior resection with laparoscopic-assisted (n = 55) or open resection (n = 59). All clinical data (114 variables) were prospectively recorded.

RESULTS: The overall preoperative ERAS-protocol compliance was 77% for both the laparoscopic and open group. Laparoscopic surgery resulted in shorter total length of stay (median 4 vs. 6 days, p = 0.04), earlier pain control (median 2 vs. 3 days, p = 0.008), shorter need for intravenous infusions, improved mobilization on the first postoperative day (POD1), and lower inflammatory response (CRP (POD1) 54 ± 24 vs. 67 ± 31 mg/l, p = 0.017) compared with open resection. The trends in fewer postoperative complications (9.1 vs. 16.9%; odds ratio (OR) 0.55; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.17-1.81) and overall postoperative symptoms delaying recovery (20 vs. 30.5%; OR 0.63; 95% CI 0.22-1.34) in laparoscopic surgery were not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of laparoscopy in colorectal surgery within an ERAS protocol results in faster recovery compared with open resection.

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