Implementation Science Fundamentals: Pediatric Surgery Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Protocol for Pectus Repair

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The Journal of Surgical Research


INTRODUCTION: Surgical repair of pectus excavatum and carinatum in children has historically been associated with severe postoperative pain and prolonged hospitalization. Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) is a multidisciplinary, multimodal approach designed to fast-track surgical care. However, obstacles to implementation have led to very few within pediatric surgery. The aim of this study is to outline the process of development and implementation of an ERAS protocol for pectus surgical repair using fundamental principles of implementation science. METHODS: A multidisciplinary team of providers worked collaboratively to develop an ERAS protocol for surgical repair of pectus excavatum and carinatum and methods for identifying eligible patients. The surgical champion collaborated with all end users to review and revise the ERAS protocol, assessing all foreseeable barriers and facilitators prior to implementation. RESULTS: Our entire pediatric surgery team, nurses at every stage (clinic/preoperative/recovery/floor), physical therapy, and information technology contributed to the creation and implementation of an ERAS protocol with seven phases of care. The finalized version was implemented by end users focusing on four main areas: pain control, ambulation, diet, and education. Barriers and facilitators were continually addressed with an iterative process to improve the success of implementation. CONCLUSIONS: This is one of the first studies in children which details the step-by-step process of developing and implementing an ERAS protocol for pectus excavatum and carinatum. The process of development and implementation of an ERAS protocol as outlined in this manuscript can serve as a model for future ERAS protocols in pediatric surgery.


Jack P. Vernamonti- Resident

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