Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Protocol Minimizes Intensive Care Unit Utilization and Improves Outcomes Following Pulmonary Resection

Terrance Peng, Kimberly A. Shemanski, Li Ding, Elizabeth A. David, Anthony W. Kim, Michael Kim, Dustin K. Lieu, Sean C. Wightman, Jasmine Zhao, Scott M. Atay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols have been associated with improved postoperative outcomes but require further validation in thoracic surgery. This study evaluated outcomes of patients undergoing pulmonary resection before and after implementation of an ERAS protocol. Methods: Electronic medical records were queried for all patients undergoing pulmonary resection between April 2017 and April 2019. Patients were grouped into pre- and post-ERAS cohorts based on dates of operation. The ERAS protocol prioritized early mobilization, limited invasive monitoring, euvolemia, and non-narcotic analgesia. Primary outcome measures included intensive care unit (ICU) utilization, postoperative pain metrics, and perioperative morbidity. Regression analyses were performed to identify predictors of morbidity. Subgroup analyses were performed by pulmonary risk profile and surgical approach. Results: A total of 64 pre- and 67 post-ERAS patients were included in the study. ERAS implementation was associated with reduced postoperative ICU admission (pre: 65.6% vs. post: 19.4%, p < 0.0001), shorter ICU median length of stay (LOS) (pre: 1 vs. post: 0, p < 0.0001), and decreased opioid usage measured by median morphine milligram equivalents (pre: 40.5 vs. post: 20.0, p < 0.0001). Post-ERAS patients also reported lower visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores on postoperative days (POD) 1 and 2 (pre: 6.3/5.6 vs. post: 5.3/4.2, p = 0.04/0.01) as well as average VAS pain score over POD0-2 (pre: 6.2 vs. post: 5.2, p = 0.005). Conclusions: Implementation of an ERAS protocol for pulmonary resection, which dictated reduced ICU admissions, did not increase major postoperative morbidity. Additionally, ERAS-enrolled patients reported improved postoperative pain control despite decreased opioid utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2955-2963
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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