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Dis Esophagus. 2017 Apr 1;30(4):1-6. doi: 10.1093/dote/dow024.

Enhanced recovery after surgery protocol in patients undergoing esophagectomy for cancer: a single center experience.


This article is about an emerging issue in esophageal surgery: enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) Few data are published in literature and its safety and feasibility is still debated. The focus of our paper is on the feasibility of an ERAS protocol for esophagectomy (including both the Ivor-Lewis and McKeown procedure) in a high volume center comparing to a standard perioperative protocol. We introduced a novelty item on this type of surgery: resume of oral feeding in the first postoperative day. We analyzed the dropout rate for each item and the postoperative morbidity. We studied 39 patients operated in the Upper GI division of Verona University Hospital between January 2013 and August 2014; 22 patients (ERAS group) were studied in a perspective way while 17 patients (standard group) were studied retrospectively. The enhanced recovery protocol included intraoperative fluid management, time of extubation after surgery, intensive care unit discharge, drains and nasogastric tube management, mobilization of the patient, oral food intake. We compared the results between the two groups in term of hospital stay, postoperative morbidity and mortality. We also calculated the percentage completion of the protocol, evaluating patient drop-out rates for each of the items. Patients showed an improvement in the ERAS group in terms of earlier extubation, earlier intensive care unit discharge (p < 0.01), earlier thoracic drain, urinary catheter (p < 0.01) and nasogastric tube removal (p = 0.02), earlier mobilization (p < 0.01), and resume of oral feeding (p < 0.01). Median length of hospital stays in the ERAS group was 9 days while in the standard group was 10 days (p = 0.23). Postoperative morbidity and mortality were comparable between the two groups. This study shows the feasibility and safety of an ERAS protocol for esophageal surgery in a high-volume center. These data strengthen the literature results on this argument calling for larger sample size studies.


ERAS; cancer surgery; esophageal; esophagectomy

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