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Surg Endosc. 2012 Feb;26(2):361-7. doi: 10.1007/s00464-011-1877-9. Epub 2011 Oct 13.

The ERAS protocol reduces the length of stay after laparoscopic colectomies.

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Department of Surgery, Rivierenland Hospital Tiel, President Kennedylaan 1, 4002 WP, Tiel, The Netherlands.



The Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol, which is developed to enhance postoperative recovery of patients treated with open colorectal surgery, has been widely adopted. The ERAS protocol has also been introduced in patients treated with laparoscopic colectomy, without data to support its additional value. We investigated whether laparoscopic colectomy in combination with the use of the ERAS protocol leads to a reduction of postoperative length of stay compared to laparoscopic colectomy with conventional care.


We performed a comprehensive medical record review. Inclusion criteria were patients who had undergone a laparoscopic colectomy at a single center between April 2004 and September 2009 (n = 186). The ERAS protocol had been introduced at the end of 2006. We divided the patients in a pre-ERAS group (n = 77), and an ERAS group (n = 109). We compared the baseline characteristics of both groups. The primary outcome was postoperative length of stay.


We did not find significant differences in gender, age, body mass index (BMI), diabetes mellitus (DM), American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification, and diagnosis and type of surgery between the two groups. Median postoperative length of stay was 6 days (range = 2-28) in the pre-ERAS group and 4 days (range = 2-55) in the ERAS group (P = 0.007). Median return of bowel function was 3 days (range = 1-6) in the pre-ERAS group and 2 days (range = 1-5) in the ERAS group (P < 0.001). We did not find significant differences in postoperative procedure-related complications (wound infection, anastomotic leakage, abscesses), postoperative morbidity, 30-day readmission, 30-day reoperation, and 30-day mortality.


The postoperative length of stay was significantly reduced in the ERAS group without differences in patient outcome. It is suggested that these results are the effect of a combination of the ERAS protocol with laparoscopic colectomy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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