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Perioperative Enhanced Recovery Concepts Significantly Improve Postoperative Outcome in Patients with Crohn`s Disease.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Despite recent advancements in medical and surgical techniques in patients suffering from Crohn`s Disease (CD), postoperative morbidity remains relevant due to a long-standing, non-curable disease burden. As demonstrated for oncological patients, perioperative enhanced recovery concepts provide great potential to improve postoperative outcome. However, robust evidence about the effect of perioperative enhanced recovery concepts in the specific cohort of CD patients is lacking.

METHODS: In a prospective single-center study, all patients receiving ileocecal resection due to CD between 2020 and 2023 were included. A specific perioperative enhanced recovery concept (ERC) was implemented and patients were divided into two groups (before and after implementation). The primary outcome focused on postoperative complications as measured by the Comprehensive Complication Index (CCI), secondary endpoints were severe complications, length of hospital stay, and rates of re-admission.

RESULTS: 83 patients were analyzed of which 33 patients participated in the enhanced recovery program (postERC). While patient characteristics were comparable between both groups, ERC resulted in significantly decreased rates of overall and severe postoperative complications (CCI: 21.4 versus 8.4, p=0.0036; Clavien Dindo >2: 38% versus 3.1%, p=0.0002). Additionally, postERC-patients were earlier ready for discharge (6.5 days versus 5 days, p=0.001) and rates of re-admission were significantly lower (20% versus 3.1%, p=0.03). In a multivariate analysis, the recovery concept was identified as independent factor to reduce severe postoperative complications (p=0.019).

CONCLUSION: A specific perioperative enhanced recovery concept significantly improves the postoperative outcome of patients suffering from Crohn`s Disease.

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