The Successful Implementation of a Modified Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Program for Bariatric Surgery in a South African Teaching Hospital

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Background:This study assessed the impact of strict adherence to perioperative pathways incorporating an enhanced recovery after surgery protocol on the outcomes of bariatric surgery at our center.Methods:Prospective data were collected on 62 patients undergoing bariatric surgery between January 2011 and March 2016. Outcomes were compared between those who adhered to the perioperative pathway and those who did not.Results:Fifty-three patients underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, and 9 patients underwent Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. The majority of subjects were female individuals (n=45; 72.6%). The mean age (±SD) was 40.5±9.8 years (range, 21 to 59 y). The mean preoperative body mass index (BMI) was 54.8±11.0. The mean BMI loss from baseline was 14.8 kg/m2 (−15.9 kg m2; P<0.001). There were no deaths, and there were only 2 postoperative complications (1 intra-abdominal bleeding postoperatively requiring reoperation and 1 patient requiring CPAP support in intensive care unit). Full adherence was achieved in 53 (85.5%) patients with a mean length of stay (LOS) of 3±0.8 days. The nonadherent group had a significantly longer LOS of 4±3.2 days (P=0.049). The time since last follow-up visit was on average 4.4±5.6 months in the fully adherent group and significantly longer in the nonadherent group at 10.6±11.3 months (P=0.013). Age, race, sex, and BMI did not significantly impact on adherence. The mean LOS among morbidly obese and super obese patients was comparable at 3 and 3.3 days, respectively (P=0.442).Conclusion:Adherence to enhanced recovery after surgery pathways was associated with a significantly shorter hospital stay and better follow-up in our surgical unit.

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