Current perioperative practice in Canadian vascular surgery

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Abstract

Background

The Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Society has set out to improve patient recovery by developing evidence-based perioperative practices. Many institutions and other specialties have begun to apply their principles with great success; however, ERAS principles focus mostly on general surgery, and their applicability to other specialties, such as vascular surgery, is less clear. We sought to investigate the current standard of perioperative care in Canadian vascular surgery by assessing surgeons’ perceptions of evidence supporting ERAS practices, identifying barriers to aligning them and identifying aspects of perioperative care that require research specific to vascular surgery before they could be broadly applied.

Methods

We administered an online survey with 26 questions to all Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery members.

Results

Respondents varied largely in perioperative practice, most notably in the use of nasogastric tubes, Foley catheters and neck drains. Familiarity with supporting evidence was poor. Approximately half (44%) of respondents were not familiar with contrary evidence, while those who were often perceived institutional barriers to change. Finally, one-third (30%) of respondents felt that relevant evidence did not exist to support changing their practice.

Conclusion

The variability of perioperative practice in Canadian vascular surgery is likely due to multiple factors, including a lack of specific evidence. Further research in areas of perioperative vascular care where the current standard of practice varies most greatly may help improve recovery after vascular surgery in Canada over simply adopting existing ERAS principles.

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