Enhanced Recovery Protocol after Radical Cystectomy for Bladder Cancer

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Abstract

Purpose:

Enhanced recovery after surgery protocols aim to improve patient care and decrease complications and hospital stay. We evaluated our enhanced recovery after surgery protocol, focusing on length of stay, early complication and readmission rates after radical cystectomy for bladder cancer.

Materials and Methods:

From May 2012 to July 2013 a perioperative protocol was applied in 126 consecutive patients who underwent open radical cystectomy and urinary diversion. Nonconsenting patients (2), those with previous diversion (2) and prolonged postoperative intubation (3), and those who underwent additional surgery (9) were excluded from study. The protocol focuses on avoiding bowel preparation and nasogastric tube, early feeding, nonnarcotic pain management and the use of cholinergic and μ-opioid antagonists. Outcomes were compared to those in matched controls from our bladder cancer database.

Results:

A total of 110 patients with a median age of 69 years were included in analysis, of whom 68% underwent continent urinary diversion. Of the patients 82% had a bowel movement by postoperative day 2. Median length of stay was 4 days. The 30-day minor and major complication rates were 64% and 14%, respectively. The most common minor complication was anemia requiring transfusion in 19% of patients, urinary tract infection in 13% and dehydration in 10%. The latter 2 complications were the most common etiologies for readmission. The 30-day readmission rate was 21% (23 patients). Patients 75 years old or older had a longer length of stay (5 vs 4 days, p = 0.03) and a higher minor complication rate (72% vs 51%, p = 0.04) than younger patients.

Conclusions:

Our enhanced recovery after surgery protocol expedites bowel function recovery and shortens hospital stay after RC and urinary diversion without an increase in the hospital readmission rates.

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