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Factors Influencing Length of Stay after Elective Bowel Resection within an Enhanced Recovery Protocol

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A multimodality approach to enhance recovery after bowel surgery is demonstrated to reduce complications and decrease patient length of stay (LOS). This study evaluates the factors that influence patient LOS within a formal enhanced recovery protocol. From January 2014 to December 2016, all consecutive patients admitted to one ward, who had undergone bowel resection and were enrolled in an enhanced recovery protocol, were evaluated prospectively. We entered every patient’s data into the American College of Surgeons Risk Calculator (ACSRC) to compare predicted versus actual outcomes. Statistical analysis of clinical factors, patient participation, and outcomes compared with the overall LOS was performed. Of 670 bowel resections performed during the study period, a total of 127 (19%) patients met the criteria and were analyzed for comorbidities, type of surgery, complications, and participation in recovery protocols. The median length of stay (mLOS) for all patients was 4.0 days (1.8‐24.6 days). Factors influencing mLOS included laparoscopic versus open surgery (P = 0.006), COPD (P = 0.003), missing 24 hours of ambulation (P < 0.001), use of patient-controlled analgesia (P = 0.011), and diagnosis of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (P = 0.041). Increasing the use of morphine equivalents (MEs) increased mLOS beyond the ACSRC estimate (P = 0.003). Developing a major complication increased mLOS by 8.5 times the ACSRC estimate. Conclusion: A multimodality approach to enhance surgical recovery after bowel surgery decreases the LOS. The surgical approach, participation in ambulation, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and COPD influenced the overall LOS. Increasing use of morphine equivalents and developing a complication increased mLOS beyond the ACSRC preoperative risk estimates.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2018

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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