Prospective study of enhanced recovery after surgery protocol in children undergoing reconstructive operations.

Document Type


Publication Date



Surgery, Pediatric, Urology

Journal Title

J Pediatr Urol

MeSH Headings

Child, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Length of Stay, Male, Perioperative Care, Postoperative Complications, Postoperative Period, Prognosis, Prospective Studies, Reconstructive Surgical Procedures, Recovery of Function, Registries, Risk Factors, Urologic Diseases, Urologic Surgical Procedures


BACKGROUND: Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocol is a set of peri-operative strategies to increase speed of recovery. ERAS is well established in adults but has not been well studied in children.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the current study was to establish the safety and efficacy of an ERAS protocol in pediatric urology patients undergoing reconstructive operations. It was hypothesized that ERAS would reduce length of stay and decrease complications when compared with historical controls.

STUDY DESIGN: Institutional Review Board approval was obtained to prospectively enroll patients agedpreparation, administration of pre-operative oral carbohydrate liquid, avoidance of opioids, regional anesthesia, laparoscopy when feasible, no postoperative nasogastric tube, early feeding, and early removal of intravenous fluids (IVF). Recent (2009-2014) historical controls were propensity matched in a 2:1 ratio on age, sex, ventriculoperitoneal shunt status and whether the patient was undergoing bladder augmentation. Outcomes were protocol adherence, length of stay (LOS), emergency department (ED) visits, re-admission within 30 days, re-operations and adverse events occurring within 90 days of surgery.

RESULTS: A total of 26 historical and 13 ERAS patients were included. Median ages were 10.4 (IQR 8.0-12.4) and 9.9 years (IQR 9.1-11), respectively (P = 0.94) (see Summary Table). There were no significant between-group differences in prior abdominal surgery (38% vs 62%), rate of augmentation (88% vs 92%) or primary diagnosis of spina bifida (both 62%). ERAS significantly improved use of pre-operative liquid load (P < 0.001), avoidance of opioids (P = 0.046), early discontinuation of IVF (P < 0.001), and early feeding (P < 0.001). Protocol adherence improved from 8/16 (IQR 4-9) historically to 12/16 (IQR 11-12) after implementation of ERAS. LOS decreased from 8 days to 5.7 days (P = 0.520). Complications of any grade per patient decreased from 2.1 to 1.3 (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.51-0.97). There were fewer complications per patient across all grades with ERAS. No differences were seen in emergency department (ED) visits, re-admissions and re-operations.

DISCUSSION: Implementation improved consistency of care delivered. Tenets of ERAS that appeared to drive improvements included maintenance of euvolemia through avoidance of excess fluids, multimodal analgesia, and early feeding.

CONCLUSION: ERAS decreased length of stay and 90-day complications after pediatric reconstructive surgery without increased re-admissions, re-operations or ED visits. A multicenter study will be required to confirm the potential benefits of adopting ERAS.



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