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Retroperitoneal localized neuroblastoma in children: a comparison of enhanced recovery after surgery versus traditional care.

PURPOSE: To investigate the clinical value of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols for children with neuroblastoma (NB).

METHODS: This retrospective review was conducted by using the electronic medical records of 48 children with retroperitoneal localized NB who underwent tumor resection (surgery for treatment, not diagnosis) between October 2016 and September 2021. The ERAS protocols for NB excision were implemented in 28 children (ERAS group), while 20 children received traditional care (TRAD group). The same group of pediatric surgeons performed all the tumor resections. Intraoperative fluid infusion, the extent of NB resection, time of early ambulation and time of first flatus, time to total enteral nutrition (TEN) after surgery, abdominal drainages, nasogastric tubes and urinary catheters used and duration, the Face/Legs/Activity/Cry/Consolability (FLACC) quantitative table on a postoperative day 1 (POD1), 3, 5, length of stay after surgery (LOS), hospitalization expense, postoperative complications, parental satisfaction rate and readmission rate of surgical wards within 30 days after operation were analyzed.

RESULTS: The median postoperative period of early mobilization, first flatus, TEN, LOS and total cost during hospitalization were 1.0 days, 2.0 days, 5.5 days, 9.0 days and 33,397.3 yuan in the ERAS group and 3.0 days, 3.0 days, 7.0 days, 11.0 days and 38,120.3 Yuan in the TRAD group, respectively (all p < 0.05). Median intraoperative fluid volume was 5.0 mL/kg/h compared to 8.0 mL/kg/h and the magnitude of decrease in FLACC scores from POD1 to POD5 was greater in the ERAS group (all p < 0.05). Abdominal drainages, urinary catheters and nasogastric tubes were removed earlier in the ERAS group (p < 0.05). The satisfaction of parents in the ERAS group was slightly higher, but the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.762). There were no marked differences between the two groups in aspects of the extent of NB resection, operation-related complications and 30-day readmissions (all P = 1.000).

CONCLUSIONS: Application of ERAS protocols in localized retroperitoneal NBs resection in children is feasible and safe. However, applying ERAS protocols in the surgical resection of solid tumors in children still requires much more research, especially randomized prospective research.

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