Implementation of an Enhanced Recovery After Spine Surgery program at a large cancer center: a preliminary analysis


Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, Ahead of Print.
OBJECTIVEEnhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) programs follow a multimodal, multidisciplinary perioperative care approach that combines evidence-based perioperative strategies to accelerate the functional recovery process and improve surgical outcomes. Despite increasing evidence that supports the use of ERAS programs in gastrointestinal and pelvic surgery, data regarding the development of ERAS programs in spine surgery are scarce. To evaluate the impact of an Enhanced Recovery After Spine Surgery (ERSS) program in a US academic cancer center, the authors introduced such a program and hypothesized that ERSS would have a significant influence on meaningful clinical measures of postoperative recovery, such as pain management, postoperative length of stay (LOS), and complications.METHODSA multimodal, multidisciplinary, continuously evolving team approach was used to develop an ERAS program for all patients undergoing spine surgery for metastatic tumors at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from April 2015 through September 2016. This study describes the introduction of that ERSS program and compares 41 patients who participated in ERSS with a retrospective cohort of 56 patients who underwent surgery before implementation of the program. The primary objectives were to assess the effect of an ERSS program on immediate postoperative pain scores and in-hospital opioid consumption. The secondary objectives included assessing the effect of ERSS on postoperative in-hospital LOS, 30-day readmission rates, and 30-day postoperative complications.RESULTSThe ERSS group showed a trend toward better pain scores and decreased opioid consumption compared with the pre-ERSS group. There were no significant differences in LOS, 30-day readmission rate, or 30-day complication rate observed between the two groups.RESULTSAn ERSS program is feasible and potentially effective on perioperative pain control and opioid consumption, and can expedite recovery in oncological spine surgery patients. Larger-scale research on well-defined postoperative recovery outcomes is needed.

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